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Xexist
05-16-2014, 07:34 PM
The more research I do the less I'm worried about the merits of the case. The copyright claims are weak, the "trade dress" stuff is ludicrous, and the patents for MTG seem deeply flawed in many ways. The primary fear seems to just be the financial drain on Hex, LLC from litigation costs.

AKA Everyone go draft, buy packs, and enjoy the game!

Vorpal
05-16-2014, 08:12 PM
Yes, Richard Garfield patented tapping. The patent, by my reading, runs out on June 22 of this year (2014). Wizards went back and tacked on some other parts to that same patent, which you can read here. The patent covers just about everything you could imagine in a TCG. It covers building decks, casting spells, the process of trading with others and more.

Wizards is saying that Hex violates a lot of its patents. Hex probably does. Here’s the problem:

Those patent claims are beatable.

Those patents need to be laughed out of court. They are absurdly broad and do indeed cover every facet of a TCG.

Yoss
05-16-2014, 08:15 PM
This is already linked in the OP of the other thread is it not? If not, send PM to Entropy and he'll add it.

Dynimix
05-16-2014, 08:28 PM
Great article!

mudkip
05-16-2014, 08:39 PM
This is already linked in the OP of the other thread is it not? If not, send PM to Entropy and he'll add it.

It's linked throughout the thread numerous times.

Cernz
05-16-2014, 10:20 PM
Hmpf, watched my first mtgo Video right now... this game looks so bad ... maybe it plays better than it looks, but i will hopefully never know it... go HEX !!

darkwonders
05-16-2014, 10:47 PM
It's linked throughout the thread numerous times.

whoops. my bad.

Ginaz
05-17-2014, 12:12 AM
Hmpf, watched my first mtgo Video right now... this game looks so bad ... maybe it plays better than it looks, but i will hopefully never know it... go HEX !!

Its even worse than you think. It doesn't look like the client has been updated in over 10 years, probably because it hasn't.

mmac900
05-17-2014, 02:15 AM
Its even worse than you think. It doesn't look like the client has been updated in over 10 years, probably because it hasn't.

This IS the updated client rofl. It replaced an even worse looking one last summer I believe, around the time I quite magic to back hex. So yeah, I will never give another penny to that greedy company that charges you triple what hex does for a 10x worse experience.

Infini
05-17-2014, 03:39 AM
Now that's something. I'm surprised some people here didn't play MtG and say the games are different. I've been playing Magic for close to 15 years now and well... the similarities are there, to say the least. I know nothing about law, but I'm afraid WotC is gonna tear Hex a new one with their team of ruthless lawyers.

FeelNFine
05-17-2014, 03:44 AM
Yeah, the fact of the mater is I can print off a hex deck, and play a magic deck, and have 0 problems. I was under the impression that they had already come to an agreement, Wizards and Hex, since Cory had given many vague assurances that it would be okay. So to see that they were still working on an agreement up till recently, and that it fell through makes me feel decieved.

Honestly I will lose faith in our justice system if Hasbro doesn't win.

FeelNFine
05-17-2014, 04:13 AM
http://www.scribd.com/doc/224144304/Wizards-of-the-Coast-v-Cryptozoic-Entertainment-et-al

"60.

Wizards is further entitled to recover from Cryptozoic the gains, profits, and advantages Cryptozoic has obtained as a result of their violation of the Patent Act. Wizards is at present unable to ascertain the full extent of the gains, profits, and advantages Cryptozoic has obtained by reason of their acts of patent infringement, but Wizards is informed and believes, and on that basis alleges, that Cryptozoic obtained such gains, profits, and advantages in an amount exceeding $500,000.00"

I don't speak legalese, but what constitutes an advantage? And because of kickstarter pledges, can the client and their work be considered an advantage gained?

Erukk
05-17-2014, 04:15 AM
Honestly I will lose faith in our justice system if Hasbro doesn't win.

And honestly, I would lose faith in our justice system if Hasbro loses the lawsuit, or they only get away with a small chunk of money, but they still proceed to legally bleed Hex dry with legal fees, just because they can.

But we all know that is a real possibility when it comes to these matters.

Arbiter
05-17-2014, 04:21 AM
Yeah, the fact of the mater is I can print off a hex deck, and play a magic deck, and have 0 problems. I was under the impression that they had already come to an agreement, Wizards and Hex, since Cory had given many vague assurances that it would be okay. So to see that they were still working on an agreement up till recently, and that it fell through makes me feel decieved.

Honestly I will lose faith in our justice system if Hasbro doesn't win.

I agree with the comments about decks, that is my feeling exactly. I don't remember specific assurances that it was all OK wuth respect to MtG, I know it came up, but I thought it was the community in general that said it wouldn't be an issue.

If Hasbro has legal recourse with respect to HEX I'd expect them to take it to court. It isn't hard to view them as the victim here. If HEX can defend itself, well and good, that's for the courts to decide. In the end I cannot understand the anger at Hasbro, it's hardly a spurious suit, the basis of the game is identical. HEX should have (and likely did) anticipate it.

In the end, if it all falls through most of the blame lies with us for not asking more questions (or walking away if we feel uncomfortable. I'll be a little upset with HEX for being lazy with their R&D and starting with MtG as a basis instead of a new design, but really, I backed them, and I'm not unhappy to have - their a gaming company for gamers producing products I wish to play.

Axle
05-17-2014, 04:21 AM
Yeah they're trying to get the kickstarter money and claiming it is their own.

MuffLord4
05-17-2014, 04:21 AM
No they can't, also many of these claims are just stupid. If they try to get the kickstarter pledge money people will sue them to oblivion, I really don't know what their legal team is thinking.

I know that I would sue for sure and I know many others.

FeelNFine
05-17-2014, 04:23 AM
Hex has continued to make money after kickstarter though.

Erukk
05-17-2014, 04:26 AM
I don't speak legalese either, but I'm sure "gain, profits, and advantage" probably means something close too... "Anything that isn't nailed down. And what is nailed down, that's why we brought a crowbar for." It could mean anything they want.

MuffLord4
05-17-2014, 04:27 AM
I don't speak legalese either, but I'm sure "gain, profits, and advantage" probably means something close too... "Anything that isn't nailed down. And what is nailed down, that's why we brought a crowbar for." It could mean anything they want.

In usual cases yes, but in this case it's basically OUR money which we pledged and paid which they can't just simply claim.

Axle
05-17-2014, 04:28 AM
Yeah, the fact of the mater is I can print off a hex deck, and play a magic deck, and have 0 problems. I was under the impression that they had already come to an agreement, Wizards and Hex, since Cory had given many vague assurances that it would be okay. So to see that they were still working on an agreement up till recently, and that it fell through makes me feel decieved.

Honestly I will lose faith in our justice system if Hasbro doesn't win.

If Hasbro wins then:
Insomniac Games should sue Square Enix over Tomb Raider
Rockstar should sue THQ (or whoever owns the brand now) over Saints Row
CAPCOM should sue Inafune over Mighty No. 9
etc.
Because all of those games are the exact same game in gameplay as their previous they are inspired on except reskinned.

The only reason this case has any merit and shouldn't be thrown out the window like any other video game case would be is because of the patent that Wizards has. I can't believe all the card game players who thinks Hasbro has any justice in this and isn't just getting rid of competition through bullying instead of actually competing. Similar video games happen all the time in the industry and you should get used to it. Copyright laws are supposed to encourage competition and not diminish it like Hasbro is trying to perform.

Erukk
05-17-2014, 04:39 AM
In usual cases yes, but in this case it's basically OUR money which we pledged and paid which they can't just simply claim.

I'm not sure it works that way in courts though. You freely donated money to Hex. So, technically, it's Hex's money now, and it's theirs to deal with as they please. They may give us updates on what they are doing with our money, and they are respecting our wishes on how it is used, but in the end of the day, it's still Hex's money though. Legally, we probably lost all rights to it once it was freely donated to them.

It might not seem right, or all that moral really, but it's still legal for Hasbro to try and claim it. And legality is the only thing that matters at the moment. Let's just hope that the judge/jury or whatever settlement they come to stays away from the Kickstarter funds.

FeelNFine
05-17-2014, 04:46 AM
It's not just the patent, it's also a copyright claim, and a trade dress claim. I believe Hasbro has justice in this because it's not just the same game play, it's the exact same game.

I will be curious to see the official response, because I thought for sure they'd want to settle out of court.

Axle
05-17-2014, 04:54 AM
Of course it's not the exact same game. There is no stolen art, there is no stolen logos, names or any of the sort. Nothing in HEX is illegal. It is exactly the same as similar games in the video game industry. As many have said (And I said too), the trade dress is bullshit because not a single person who compares the two actually mistakes the two as being the same game. Which is what they are arguing trade dress pertaining to. No one has bought platinum thinking that HEX is MTG and no one has funded the kickstarter thinking so as well. You saying "I thought they had support from MTG" is only hurting the game and it may even be quoted to justify the kickstarter being their money by how much they love to take quotes from us.

Saying that all the non-gameplay features and future features in HEX doesn't count to this lawsuit is such bs. It's just pick and choosing what you want. I hope it doesn't turn out that way in the suit.

GhundiPI
05-17-2014, 04:56 AM
If anything, I think Hasbro has clearly shown thier disinterest in their own product (except as a money cow) and reluctance to provide any innovation. Essentially this behaviour is exactly what 'patent trolls' excel at; sit on a patent and stifle any company/person trying to move the applicable genre forward. All in the name of some extra money. If Hasbro instead had taken Magic and actually innovated the game and brought it correctly in the digital age; we wouldn't be posting on the Hex forums, but playing an paying for their product.

Frankly, if I were still a Magic player (luckily quit just after 4th Edition), I would be extremely worried. This isn't the behaviour of a company with a passion for their product. And not only are there more and more dTCG being developed, LCGs like Netrunner or the just released collectible dice game 'Marvel Dice Masters' are becoming very popular. All these new games are taking players away from the pool where Hasbro used to be the biggest fish. Knowing the way Hasbro has treated previous IPs, I wouldn't be surprised if Hasbro suddenly decides to discontinue Magic (or at best severely reduce its development) once it isn't profitable enough anymore.

So for me this more looks like a final attempt from a company trying to keep their (strangle)hold on a genre. If it suceeds we'll probably not see innovation for a very long time, and severe repercussions for other creative genres. If it fails we'll probably see Magic wind down in the coming years, unless Hasbro does what it should have done 10 years ago and bring some actual fresh air to Magic.

FeelNFine
05-17-2014, 05:01 AM
I'm fine with that. When I saw the original demo video, I thought it was the exact same engine as Duels of the Planes Walkers, I thought cryptozoic were the designers of that engine, and it wasn't until I booted DotP up again and paid attention that I relised it was a different developer. Art, logos, names, have nothing to do with the game. By exact same game, I mean that (short version) I can play a hex deck vs a Magic deck with no problems. We both start at 20 life, hand of seven, same mulligan rules, same resource rules, same phase rules, same card types, abilities and responses resolve in the same way. Same key words on creatures. There is nothing original in the GAMEPLAY of hex.

havocattack
05-17-2014, 05:08 AM
I'm fine with that. When I saw the original demo video, I thought it was the exact same engine as Duels of the Planes Walkers, I thought cryptozoic were the designers of that engine, and it wasn't until I booted DotP up again and paid attention that I relised it was a different developer. Art, logos, names, have nothing to do with the game. By exact same game, I mean that (short version) I can play a hex deck vs a Magic deck with no problems. We both start at 20 life, hand of seven, same mulligan rules, same resource rules, same phase rules, same card types, abilities and responses resolve in the same way. Same key words on creatures. There is nothing original in the GAMEPLAY of hex.

Nothing original... wow... just... wow

ossuary
05-17-2014, 05:08 AM
By exact same game, I mean that (short version) I can play a hex deck vs a Magic deck with no problems.

No.


We both start at 20 life, hand of seven, same mulligan rules,

Yes.


same resource rules,

No.


same phase rules,

No.


same card types,

No.


abilities and responses resolve in the same way.

No.


Same key words on creatures.

No, no.


There is nothing original in the GAMEPLAY of hex.

So much no.

BenRGamer
05-17-2014, 05:09 AM
It's... not the same resource rules. Not even all the same keywords. Have you played Hex yet?

FeelNFine
05-17-2014, 05:19 AM
Ghundi, I think you are way off. If you stopped playing after 4th edition, then you have missed out on 70 full sets. Journey into Nyx just recently came out and still have maintained healthy growth. Magic is far from dwindling. Also, Marvel Dice Maters is a WizKidz product, which is why it can be so similar to magic.

Ossuary, I'd love to prove it on video that you can cross play effortlessly.

The resource rules behave the same, you can play one per turn, and you can use each one once per turn.
How are the phases different? We still have untap-upkeep-draw-main 1-combat -main 2- end, and each one resolves the same way?

How are the card types not the same? We still have Sorcery (basic action) Instant (quick action) Creature, Artifact, resource, Enchantment (constant).

How is resolution different? On my priority I pay the cost of something, ether a card in hand or ability on board, it gets added to the stack, opponent can respond, I can respond, repeat until both players pass, and then resolve in reverse order.

How are the keywords different? I still see first strike, trample, vigillance, lifelink, flying, hexproof, indestructable... All the core ones are there.

I'm not saying that there isn't anything origional or innovative in hex, I'm saying that the gameplay, the mechanics, are identical.

MuffLord4
05-17-2014, 05:30 AM
Dude it does not matter, we as the internet community do not care about copyright and there should be no such laws. All we care about is a better product and we will get it, we are anonymous.

FeelNFine
05-17-2014, 05:35 AM
Well content producers very much do care. So yeah, go anarchy, pirate movies, screw intellectual property, that'd be swell.

MuffLord4
05-17-2014, 05:37 AM
Well content producers very much do care. So yeah, go anarchy, pirate movies, screw intellectual property, that'd be swell.

Already doing that, I'm from germany so I can't get sued anyways.

BenRGamer
05-17-2014, 05:42 AM
Er, lands don't work like threshold. Like I said, have you played Hex?

Hex is a digital game, it's -not possible- to play it with MtG, you'd have to blatantly ignore that and print it out to play, basically just blatantly trying to get people to confuse the two.

GhundiPI
05-17-2014, 05:47 AM
Ghundi, I think you are way off. If you stopped playing after 4th edition, then you have missed out on 70 full sets. Journey into Nyx just recently came out and still have maintained healthy growth. Magic is far from dwindling. Also, Marvel Dice Maters is a WizKidz product, which is why it can be so similar to magic

I actually have been keeping an eye on most releases, just to keep myself informed. And while every once in a while a few keywords were added, nothing much else happened. Innovation? Nope.

And I'd love to see some official numbers on how Magic is still growing. I can only speak from personal experience, but from a whole host of players I have known through the years, only two are still playing (casually). All others have stopped, quite a few in disgust actually, and in my local gameshop I only sometimes see a few (very young people) discussing Magic. From my close group of friends I know that quite a few have picked up Netrunner, most of them due to my recommendation.

Not sure if you have looked into Marvel Dice Masters, but to say that it is similar to Magic is baffling to me. Are you just typing things for the sake of it? I would recommend to do some actual research before stating something as fact.

FeelNFine
05-17-2014, 05:51 AM
Why yes Ben, have you played Magic?

My example of printing out a deck of hex and playing it vs a deck of magic is just to prove that the rules and mechanics are effectively the same. Yes, Hex's threshold is different than magic's lands, but when you consider Magic's dual lands, the functionality is identical.

Makizushi
05-17-2014, 05:57 AM
Already doing that, I'm from germany so I can't get sued anyways.
*cough* You may want to read up on recent EU legislation. Pirating movies, music and other copyrighted works is now very much an actionable offense.

Axle
05-17-2014, 05:57 AM
>MTG can duel HEX

Maybe..but then you get into permanent effects..a field of 4 Ancestors Chosen..or the inspired mechanic. "Did I inspire this guy..? I forgot"
"I have to create 6 tokens per turn..put them in the same sleeve as my deck and then they have to be the same size as my cards or else it will be easy to tell the difference and stacking cards will be easy".

I think if we do MTG vs HEX and Ancestors Chosen is involved and the player draws multiple copies..there will definitely be a problem for proving their case. In TCGs a player can't be expected to have that many tokens on them in the right sleeves at all times.

Grendelkr1
05-17-2014, 05:57 AM
“Wizards may be the bully here, picking on another game designer. On the other hand though, parts of Intellectual Property law requires that you actively defend your property against infringers or else you lose the protections.

If Wizards does not sue here, they may give up substantial rights in the future.”

Seeing how many other tcg’s are out there, and how many of them use these “Intellectual Properties” in one manner or another, couldn’t CZ/Hex start breaking down these individually showing how they have been used for many years and not defended?

Can it be argued that they’ve already given up most of these protections?

FeelNFine
05-17-2014, 06:03 AM
Have you heard of Watch It Played? They did an episode on Marvel Dice Masters, and I'd describe it as a mash up of Magic and Quariors. It may use dice, but the stats and combat resolution are very much Magic.

If by innovation you mean changing the rules, than aside from minor tweaks (most notably to the Legend Rule) it hasn't changed that much, but each set has played differently enough to keep 12 million players as of 2013 (According to wizards in the official complaint: http://www.scribd.com/doc/224144304/Wizards-of-the-Coast-v-Cryptozoic-Entertainment-et-al)

And Axle, the easier way would be to use a digital client, but printing proxies is something I can actually do. And that's why most magic players have a lot of dice on them, because Magic cards can create 120 tokens easily (infinite tokens too.) Sure, it could get cluttered in real life with emlems and tokens and dice, but so do regular Magic match ups. And sure, Wizards wouldn't print an efffect like the one on Ancestors Chosen because it'd be so easy to cheat with it, but my point is is that you could do it, because the rules and mechanics are the same.

DuroNL
05-17-2014, 06:03 AM
“Wizards may be the bully here, picking on another game designer. On the other hand though, parts of Intellectual Property law requires that you actively defend your property against infringers or else you lose the protections.

If Wizards does not sue here, they may give up substantial rights in the future.”

Seeing how many other tcg’s are out there, and how many of them use these “Intellectual Properties” in one manner or another, couldn’t CZ/Hex start breaking down these individually showing how they have been used for many years and not defended?

Can it be argued that they’ve already given up most of these protections?

I think all them other TCG's out there pay royalties, there was this case long ago between Nintendo and HAsbro about the Pokemon TCG, Nintendo pays royalties on every sold booster, my guess is all the tcgs that use similar mechanics pay royalties. So they did not really give up on them, they are getting compensated for it.

Cernz
05-17-2014, 06:08 AM
Looks like a wotc employee is among us ;)

FeelNFine
05-17-2014, 06:15 AM
lol, I'm not, sorry if I'm getting too testy, I was going to wait until after we got an official response, but I was getting pissed off at how much magic was getting demonized. It could very well be that all of WotC's deals were so bad for crypt that they couldn't viably accept any of them and figured going to court would be better. But right now it feels like crypt was deceptive. There's no way this was a surprise to them.

Daparish81
05-17-2014, 06:20 AM
Have you heard of Watch It Played? They did an episode on Marvel Dice Masters, and I'd describe it as a mash up of Magic and Quariors. It may use dice, but the stats and combat resolution are very much Magic.

If by innovation you mean changing the rules, than aside from minor tweaks (most notably to the Legend Rule) it hasn't changed that much, but each set has played differently enough to keep 12 million players as of 2013 (According to wizards in the official complaint: http://www.scribd.com/doc/224144304/Wizards-of-the-Coast-v-Cryptozoic-Entertainment-et-al)

And Axle, the easier way would be to use a digital client, but printing proxies is something I can actually do. And that's why most magic players have a lot of dice on them, because Magic cards can create 120 tokens easily (infinite tokens too.) Sure, it could get cluttered in real life with emlems and tokens and dice, but so do regular Magic match ups. And sure, Wizards wouldn't print an efffect like the one on Ancestors Chosen because it'd be so easy to cheat with it, but my point is is that you could do it, because the rules and mechanics are the same.

Really stretching here. Who's gonna want to play a physical card game with Hexs digital mechanics? No one. Is it technically possible? Yes. Can your everyday gamer do it? No. That's a big difference between the rules. IMO as an attorney, that may be enough to put Hex into the derivative work category rather than the "direct copy" category of copyright law. The patents are a bit different.

MuffLord4
05-17-2014, 06:22 AM
*cough* You may want to read up on recent EU legislation. Pirating movies, music and other copyrighted works is now very much an actionable offense.

German Grundgesetz is higher than EU laws.

hashinshin
05-17-2014, 06:23 AM
German Grundgesetz is higher than EU laws.

So the Germans rule the EU which in turn makes laws... that the Germans then don't obey? Am I getting this right?

FeelNFine
05-17-2014, 06:27 AM
My point is it's only possible because Hex is an MTG clone. Since Magic has digital titles as well, that's probably enough for them. And I wouldn't say thats a rules difference, just an additional rule. Not sure if that's enough for cryptizoic.

Daparish81
05-17-2014, 06:32 AM
My point is it's only possible because Hex is an MTG clone. Since Magic has digital titles as well, that's probably enough for them. And I wouldn't say thats a rules difference, just an additional rule. Not sure if that's enough for cryptizoic.

It's not a clone in the strict sense, though. It's a clone in the sense that WoW "cloned" Everquest. Unfortunately for WotC, that's not enough for IP infringement. The question at the bottom of all this (patents disregarded) is: Is Hex innovative, or just a re-skin of Magic? If it's just a re-skin with some visual elements changed (See the Triple Town/Yeti Town case) then it infringes. However, we all know that there is a lot of innovation in Hex (re: PVE content, digital mechanics, dungeons, characters, etc.). You don't get to sue because a game copied your mechanics. It's just how the law works.

mmac900
05-17-2014, 06:34 AM
German Grundgesetz is higher than EU laws.

lol? no it isnt, EU laws always trump national laws, even in germany.

BenRGamer
05-17-2014, 06:35 AM
It's all a matter of perspective at this point before the courts decide. What FeelNFine calls a clone, I say is standing on the shoulders of giants to reach even higher.

If all Hex wanted to be was a cheap ripoff of Magic, they didn't have to go through anywhere near as much trouble as they have.

FeelNFine
05-17-2014, 06:36 AM
That's only true if WoW had the exact same clases, number of skills, party size ect.

Hex changed nothing. Did they add stuff? Sure, is that enough though?

Axle
05-17-2014, 06:39 AM
That's only true if WoW had the exact same clases, number of skills, party size ect.

Hex changed nothing. Did they add stuff? Sure, is that enough though?

Can we stop the strawmanning now?

Daparish81
05-17-2014, 06:40 AM
It's all a matter of perspective at this point before the courts decide. What FeelNFine calls a clone, I say is standing on the shoulders of giants to reach even higher.If all Hex wanted to be was a cheap ripoff of Magic, they didn't have to go through anywhere near as much trouble as they have.

An idea upon which our entire IP law system is founded. All creativity is derivative. We're encouraged to build and improve upon ideas.

Daparish81
05-17-2014, 06:42 AM
That's only true if WoW had the exact same clases, number of skills, party size ect.

Hex changed nothing. Did they add stuff? Sure, is that enough though?

Nothing? Really? I've yet to cast any Black spells in Hex, for instance.

MuffLord4
05-17-2014, 06:46 AM
lol? no it isnt, EU laws always trump national laws, even in germany.

Our lawyers and judges dont seem to care much anymore.

mach
05-17-2014, 06:48 AM
It's not a clone in the strict sense, though. It's a clone in the sense that WoW "cloned" Everquest. Unfortunately for WotC, that's not enough for IP infringement. The question at the bottom of all this (patents disregarded) is: Is Hex innovative, or just a re-skin of Magic? If it's just a re-skin with some visual elements changed (See the Triple Town/Yeti Town case) then it infringes. However, we all know that there is a lot of innovation in Hex (re: PVE content, digital mechanics, dungeons, characters, etc.). You don't get to sue because a game copied your mechanics. It's just how the law works.

Do PvE Content/dungeons/characters even count? They're not in yet. IANAL, but I don't think you can use stuff you plan to add in the future as evidence. Hex is monetized already, so what matters is what's in now.

As for digital mechanics, MTG has done them too (the Astral set).

bootlace
05-17-2014, 06:51 AM
Ive read most of the articles and speculation surrounding this Magic vs Hex lawsuit but there are some specific points that haven’t really been addressed. Some clarification would be appreciated from those qualified to answer:

1) How can Hex be sued when its been in Alpha until a month ago? Even now we’re in closed Beta. Everything in the game is subject to change so how can a game not finished or released yet be accused of something like trade dress copying. Everybody knows already that the current UI is temporary.. A lot of the cards mentioned in the lawsuit are not even the current state of the cards!

2) Until a month ago the game hadn’t generated any revenue – KS funds can probably be considered donations/investment. Did Hex put itself in more danger by starting the paid beta a month ago (despite already being aware they were in Hasbro’s crosshair)?

3) Assuming the copyright/trade-dress claims are dismissed which by many professional accounts it seems like it will be and all that’s left is that broad patent. IF that broad patent is considered valid, would Hex be given the chance to make the appropriate changes before releasing their game? From a non legal perspective it seems incredible harsh to not give a game a chance to ‘make things right’ considering that probably hundreds of games (including ones by CZE) also are violating said patents and have ‘gotten away with it’.

4) I keep hearing this patent will expire very very shortly. How does that impact the case? If the patent is already expired by the time this goes to court, is it no longer an issue? Or does the patent only need to be valid at the date the lawsuit is submitted?

5) If CZE end up winning the case, are they eligible under any circumstance to demand Hasbro to pay their legal fees and perhaps go for a counter suit seeking damages for the time and resources they’ve incurred?

Axle
05-17-2014, 06:52 AM
Can they use them if they have working examples though? Wizards/Hasbro claims that they own the 2.5 million in the kickstarter except a good chunk of people backed because of the PVE. If HEX could show a working demo of the content which they no doubt have somewhere.

Daparish81
05-17-2014, 06:52 AM
Do PvE Content/dungeons/characters even count? They're not in yet. IANAL, but I don't think you can use stuff you plan to add in the future as evidence. Hex is monetized already, so what matters is what's in now.

As for digital mechanics, MTG has done them too (the Astral set).

Of course they count. MtG can't just strike when the game is in Beta and effectively "freeze" the similarities.

Gwaer
05-17-2014, 06:54 AM
mtg doesnt have classes at all, hex does. Wow was an Everquest clone and just as similar as hex, and mtg. You're just focusing on the similarities in one and the differences in another, because you're a troll. I don't have much patience for trolls in this situation.

Axle
05-17-2014, 06:56 AM
#4 I can answer. The patent will still be a concern even if it expires because this is a case pertaining to past damages (the kickstarter + revenue earned before the suit) and not just future or present damages.

mach
05-17-2014, 06:57 AM
Of course they count. MtG can't just strike when the game is in Beta and effectively "freeze" the similarities.

So then CZE could avoid all liability by staying in monetized beta forever? I don't think it works that way. They're selling a product right now. IANAL, but I'm pretty sure what matters is whether the product they're selling right now violates Hasbro's IP rights or not.


mtg doesnt have classes at all, hex does. Wow was an Everquest clone and just as similar as hex, and mtg. You're just focusing on the similarities in one and the differences in another, because you're a troll. I don't have much patience for trolls in this situation.

Hex doesn't have classes right now either.

BenRGamer
05-17-2014, 06:58 AM
So then CZE could avoid all liability by staying in monetized beta forever? I don't think it works that way. They're selling a product right now. IANAL, but I'm pretty sure what matters is whether the product they're selling right now violates Hasbro's IP rights or not.

Not what he's saying. He's saying the game should be judged as the final product, not just by what's complete now before the whole game is finished.

Daparish81
05-17-2014, 07:00 AM
Ive read most of the articles and speculation surrounding this Magic vs Hex lawsuit but there are some specific points that haven’t really been addressed. Some clarification would be appreciated from those qualified to answer:

1) How can Hex be sued when its been in Alpha until a month ago? Even now we’re in closed Beta. Everything in the game is subject to change so how can a game not finished or released yet be accused of something like trade dress copying. Everybody knows already that the current UI is temporary.. A lot of the cards mentioned in the lawsuit are not even the current state of the cards!

2) Until a month ago the game hadn’t generated any revenue – KS funds can probably be considered donations/investment. Did Hex put itself in more danger by starting the paid beta a month ago (despite already being aware they were in Hasbro’s crosshair)?

3) Assuming the copyright/trade-dress claims are dismissed which by many professional accounts it seems like it will be and all that’s left is that broad patent. IF that broad patent is considered valid, would Hex be given the chance to make the appropriate changes before releasing their game? From a non legal perspective it seems incredible harsh to not give a game a chance to ‘make things right’ considering that probably hundreds of games (including ones by CZE) also are violating said patents and have ‘gotten away with it’.

4) I keep hearing this patent will expire very very shortly. How does that impact the case? If the patent is already expired by the time this goes to court, is it no longer an issue? Or does the patent only need to be valid at the date the lawsuit is submitted?

5) If CZE end up winning the case, are they eligible under any circumstance to demand Hasbro to pay their legal fees and perhaps go for a counter suit seeking damages for the time and resources they’ve incurred?

I'll give this a shot. I'm an attorney, but not a IP or Patent attorney, so take this with a grain of salt:

1. That doesn't really matter in the grand scheme. For trade dress reasons, anything in the current IP or that has been advertised by CZE is actionable. I assume that CZE will address this in their Answer. If CZE changes the cards or UI before the final trial in this matter, only the last/current versions are really at issue.

2. Not really. Hex can't deny that it is intended to make money. When that actually starts is not largely important. WotC claims that they are entitled to an injunction stopping Hex from operating and that they deserve all of Hex's profits prior to the shutdown. It doesn't appear that an injuncction will be in order, though.

3. I am almost as in th dark on the patent issues as non-lawyers. I don't know when they expire, but it seems that CZE can challenge them after the fact. The patents seem EXTREMELY broad to me.

4. Not sure.

5. No. They could counter sue for several things involving "frivolous filings" but they won't.

Karstaag
05-17-2014, 07:01 AM
Here is opinion of TotalBuiscuit on this case: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UfwySDtG6s

btw. This case reminds me of the intro to Soul Reaver when Raziel dared to grow wings so Kain throw him off the cliff :)

Daparish81
05-17-2014, 07:02 AM
So then CZE could avoid all liability by staying in monetized beta forever? I don't think it works that way. They're selling a product right now. IANAL, but I'm pretty sure what matters is whether the product they're selling right now violates Hasbro's IP rights or not.


Huh? Not at all. Where did you hear that?

Arbiter
05-17-2014, 07:02 AM
Nothing? Really? I've yet to cast any Black spells in Hex, for instance.

You seriously can't believe that recolouring it dark purple and renaming it blood means it is not the black of magic. It occupies exactly the same point of the colour pie that black does in MtG, it contains exactly the same types of creatures you would expect to find in black within MtG and exactly the same types of spells that one would find in black within MtG.

The interesting legal issue is whether you can re-skin a physical game into a digital only environment. That's the point that may win the day for HEX, because while they have taken the rules, the colours, colour pie allocation and the power levels from MtG in its entirety for the basis of their game, the lore is different and the interface is not taken from MtGO. I can see why its going to court and it will be an interesting case (or settlement).

BenRGamer
05-17-2014, 07:06 AM
You seriously can't believe that recolouring it dark purple and renaming it blood means it is not the black of magic. It occupies exactly the same point of the colour pie that black does in MtG, it contains exactly the same types of creatures you would expect to find in black within MtG and exactly the same types of spells that one would find in black within MtG.

Yeah, that part is stupid, but Magic does not own colors and what colors stand for. The colors have a functional use, though. Sure, you could change the colors around, and hex infact did with renaming them to gems and wild/blood, but you'd get the same argument regardless. 'They have a color based around murder and everything, just like black in MtG!'

Daparish81
05-17-2014, 07:07 AM
You seriously can't believe that recolouring it dark purple and renaming it blood means it is not the black of magic. It occupies exactly the same point of the colour pie that black does in MtG, it contains exactly the same types of creatures you would expect to find in black within MtG and exactly the same types of spells that one would find in black within MtG.

The interesting legal issue is whether you can re-skin a physical game into a digital only environment. That's the point that may win the day for HEX, because while they have taken the rules, the colours, colour pie allocation and the power levels from MtG in its entirety for the basis of their game, the lore is different and the interface is not taken from MtGO. I can see why its going to court and it will be an interesting case (or settlement).

It's only one of many differences. Also, I'm not sure if Magic can copyright the association between black and death, decay, evil, etc. If a game wants to use colors to represent something, which colors and associations are then available?

Hex is not just a re-skin, it appears. I think thay've changed enough, at the very core of th game, to be safe. MtG HAS to sue however, to protect their IP, it's just largely a loser of a case. It will most likely settle, however.

mach
05-17-2014, 07:08 AM
Not what he's saying. He's saying the game should be judged as the final product, not just by what's complete now before the whole game is finished.

How is that sensible? It would make it totally impossible to prosecute these kind of cases, since the defendant could always claim "sure it's identical now, but it will be completely different when it's done."

If it's finished enough to be sold, it's finished enough to be judged.

BenRGamer
05-17-2014, 07:13 AM
It's not sold to the public at large yet, just a testing market, though.

Daparish81
05-17-2014, 07:13 AM
How is that sensible? It would make it totally impossible to prosecute these kind of cases, since the defendant could always claim "sure it's identical now, but it will be completely different when it's done."

If it's finished enough to be sold, it's finished enough to be judged.

No, I'm sorry. That's just not how it works. It's still in beta, my friend.

Karstaag
05-17-2014, 07:14 AM
How is that sensible? It would make it totally impossible to prosecute these kind of cases, since the defendant could always claim "sure it's identical now, but it will be completely different when it's done."

If it's finished enough to be sold, it's finished enough to be judged.

The game is not availible to the public. When everybody can get in, then it is the time to judge. If you could sue somebody for things that are missing before project is finished that would be pretty messed up.

GatticusFinch
05-17-2014, 07:15 AM
Not what he's saying. He's saying the game should be judged as the final product, not just by what's complete now before the whole game is finished.

I don't agree with this. I have never seen a case that distinguished between developmental stages of a product, and I would doubt the law would stand for that. Anyone could then say "oh, we plan to add X, Y, and Z," and then claim it was different. Unreleased, internal builds play no roll because they are not out in the marketplace for consumers. From WotC's point of view, they are currently profiting off of their IP so why do they give a shit if they are going to add PvE? No ETA, remember?

GatticusFinch
05-17-2014, 07:16 AM
The game is not availible to the public. When everybody can get in, then it is the time to judge. If you could sue somebody for things that are missing before project is finished that would be pretty messed up.

No it isn't. Hex is currently taking in money based on what WotC alleges violates their IP. They could keep the game in beta forever under your logic, continue to rake in purchases, and then WotC would be screwed.

Daparish81
05-17-2014, 07:18 AM
I don't agree with this. I have never seen a case that distinguished between developmental stages of a product, and I would doubt the law would stand for that. Anyone could then say "oh, we plan to add X, Y, and Z," and then claim it was different. Unreleased, internal builds play no roll because they are not out in the marketplace for consumers. From WotC's point of view, they are currently profiting off of their IP so why do they give a shit if they are going to add PvE? No ETA, remember?
I beieve he's speaking about future damages/injunctions, not past damages.

If it is found that Hex infringes, WotC gets damages back to the point that it has been monetized, but it will be judged on the final product put to the public.

GhundiPI
05-17-2014, 07:19 AM
Have you heard of Watch It Played?

Even better, I play the game.



They did an episode on Marvel Dice Masters, and I'd describe it as a mash up of Magic and Quariors. It may use dice, but the stats and combat resolution are very much Magic.

As I said previously, you have the opinion that it is very much like Magic. Having health, attack and defense is nothing new by far, no matter in which way it is represented (btw, there is an excellent argument to be made that Magic is a derivative of D&D, like so many other things).

And that is essentially the crux of this whole issue. People having an opinion that something is like something else. We'll have to wait and see what the result of this whole issue will be. But I would find it an extremely sad day if Hasbro/WotC would win this case (or would even get a settlement). It is time that the dinosaur dies out and makes place for a new and better generation (yeah, also an opinion of course).

Axle
05-17-2014, 07:21 AM
One thing that annoys me is that in their complaint they straight up lie about the differences in the game and the counter statement will have to waste time correcting them.

For example they state that we call resources "Mana" and we call the deck "Library" even though we don't. There is many more like that in the side by side comparison. It's not just them saving time by copying the same thing from right to left. Sometimes they think it's worth making the distinction and actually typing up what we use for the term and sometimes they don't hoping that the HEX team doesn't notice or something. The whole complaint looks really poorly done though. Makes you wonder how much effort they actually put into it since half of it is just copypaste and another half is stolen from Threshold.

GatticusFinch
05-17-2014, 07:27 AM
Ive read most of the articles and speculation surrounding this Magic vs Hex lawsuit but there are some specific points that haven’t really been addressed. Some clarification would be appreciated from those qualified to answer:

1) How can Hex be sued when its been in Alpha until a month ago? Even now we’re in closed Beta. Everything in the game is subject to change so how can a game not finished or released yet be accused of something like trade dress copying. Everybody knows already that the current UI is temporary.. A lot of the cards mentioned in the lawsuit are not even the current state of the cards!

2) Until a month ago the game hadn’t generated any revenue – KS funds can probably be considered donations/investment. Did Hex put itself in more danger by starting the paid beta a month ago (despite already being aware they were in Hasbro’s crosshair)?

3) Assuming the copyright/trade-dress claims are dismissed which by many professional accounts it seems like it will be and all that’s left is that broad patent. IF that broad patent is considered valid, would Hex be given the chance to make the appropriate changes before releasing their game? From a non legal perspective it seems incredible harsh to not give a game a chance to ‘make things right’ considering that probably hundreds of games (including ones by CZE) also are violating said patents and have ‘gotten away with it’.

4) I keep hearing this patent will expire very very shortly. How does that impact the case? If the patent is already expired by the time this goes to court, is it no longer an issue? Or does the patent only need to be valid at the date the lawsuit is submitted?

5) If CZE end up winning the case, are they eligible under any circumstance to demand Hasbro to pay their legal fees and perhaps go for a counter suit seeking damages for the time and resources they’ve incurred?

1. Think of it this way--if I made a straight up direct clone of Hex, called it an Alpha, but started profiting off of it, shouldn't CZE be able to sue me? What difference does it make that I might, someday, maybe put in these other features? "No ETA," remember? I would be profiting off of their IP now, so allowing me to just slap a beta label on it and defeat all claims would let infringement run wild.

2. More danger, yes, but not much more than they were already in. Calling Kickstarter funds a "donation" in this context is just fiction. That is money CZE brought in by showing/providing a product that allegedly infringes on WotC's IP. That's income. They probably put themselves in more danger because the parts of the game that are the most transformative are nowhere to be seen and have not been released. They are just "no ETA" promises.

3. Don't assume the copyright or trade dress claims will just be dismissed. The games are visually similar enough that a judge could easily say this is a question of fact and let it go to the jury. If they violate the patent, sure, they could change it to not violate it anymore, but that would be after WotC gets whatever award they do, including a permanent injunction against Hex. They might have to come out with a different game, pay a licensing fee, etc. There is no "gotten away with it" in patent law--patents can be selectively enforced. That is, WotC can pick and choose which violations they want to sue over.

4. Not a patent lawyer, don't know.

5. Highly unlikely. The case is not frivolous by any stretch of the imagination and I cannot think of any other statutory recourse for the recovery of attorney's fees that would apply (you don't get your attorney's fees paid in our legal system just because you win).

IndigoShade
05-17-2014, 07:38 AM
For example they state that we call resources "Mana" and we call the deck "Library" even though we don't.

Yeah, I don't see how something like that could even be used in court. So what if people do refer to something by unofficial lingo, if those aren't the official terms used by HEX in their game. Are they going to send lawyers after everyone that has played HEX to see if we admit to using M:tG terminology and sue us if we do? It's pretty obvious there are some not so insignificant similarities between the games, but it's also pretty obvious that they didn't just create a clone of M:tG, slap a coat of paint on it and rebrand it.

The legal system is seems to be as screwed up as the economy though, and I'm sure everyone has heard "juries are unpredictable". So even if I think the game passes the test of whether or not it's different enough from M:tG to stand on it's own, doesn't mean the court will. :(

bootlace
05-17-2014, 07:39 AM
1. Think of it this way--if I made a straight up direct clone of Hex, called it an Alpha, but started profiting off of it, shouldn't CZE be able to sue me? What difference does it make that I might, someday, maybe put in these other features? "No ETA," remember? I would be profiting off of their IP now, so allowing me to just slap a beta label on it and defeat all claims would let infringement run wild.

2. More danger, yes, but not much more than they were already in. Calling Kickstarter funds a "donation" in this context is just fiction. That is money CZE brought in by showing/providing a product that allegedly infringes on WotC's IP. That's income. They probably put themselves in more danger because the parts of the game that are the most transformative are nowhere to be seen and have not been released. They are just "no ETA" promises.

3. Don't assume the copyright or trade dress claims will just be dismissed. The games are visually similar enough that a judge could easily say this is a question of fact and let it go to the jury. If they violate the patent, sure, they could change it to not violate it anymore, but that would be after WotC gets whatever award they do, including a permanent injunction against Hex. They might have to come out with a different game, pay a licensing fee, etc. There is no "gotten away with it" in patent law--patents can be selectively enforced. That is, WotC can pick and choose which violations they want to sue over.

4. Not a patent lawyer, don't know.

5. Highly unlikely. The case is not frivolous by any stretch of the imagination and I cannot think of any other statutory recourse for the recovery of attorney's fees that would apply (you don't get your attorney's fees paid in our legal system just because you win).

Thanks, appreciate the response.

HeXBazou
05-17-2014, 07:49 AM
Why yes Ben, have you played Magic?

My example of printing out a deck of hex and playing it vs a deck of magic is just to prove that the rules and mechanics are effectively the same. Yes, Hex's threshold is different than magic's lands, but when you consider Magic's dual lands, the functionality is identical.
if i print a yugiho deck and pay 1 mana for 1 star i can play to magic with my yugiho deck ?

Axle
05-17-2014, 07:51 AM
if i print a yugiho deck and pay 1 mana for 1 star i can play to magic with my yugiho deck ?

And you get to play Divination for free!

Khazrakh
05-17-2014, 07:52 AM
Highly unlikely. The case is not frivolous by any stretch of the imagination and I cannot think of any other statutory recourse for the recovery of attorney's fees that would apply (you don't get your attorney's fees paid in our legal system just because you win).

That's insane to be honest, who would think that this is a good idea? In Germany the losing party has to pay for everything and that's just fair in my opinion. Without that you're just free to sue anybody who is financially weaker than yourself...

Axle
05-17-2014, 07:54 AM
Without that you're just free to sue anybody who is financially weaker than yourself...

Aaaand that's exactly what is happening here.

hashinshin
05-17-2014, 07:58 AM
Germany is a newer country than the U.S, with newer laws. In fact if you consider that Germany largely was set up post WW2 they already had the ability to analyze the U.S's patent/copyright/entire legal system to find flaws they could fix.

Gwaer
05-17-2014, 08:05 AM
Thanks karstaag for that total biscuit video. Now I have to play dawn gate. =\

AstaSyneri
05-17-2014, 08:07 AM
Ah, getting into muddy territory here. The "Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch" - BGB is from 1896. German Law predates WW2 by quite a bit, back to the "Sachsenspiegel", IIRC, back in the 13th century. Of course that one wasn't concerned with copyright laws (but then the US weren't even a gleam in the English Queens/Kings eyes either).

Edit: The Patentgesetz (PatG) originally is from 1936, same as the Warenzeichengesetz.

DocX
05-17-2014, 08:07 AM
Just wanting to take a minute to give a shout out to GatticusFinch for his well reasoned and informed posts here providing legal background for the issues at hand. Many thanks for providing illumination to a discussion that could otherwise devolve into a lot of heat and not much light.

maniza
05-17-2014, 08:08 AM
Here is opinion of TotalBuiscuit on this case: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UfwySDtG6s

btw. This case reminds me of the intro to Soul Reaver when Raziel dared to grow wings so Kain throw him off the cliff :)

the tb video on the matter is realy intresting and asks important questions. is the game diferenciating its self? is it evolving the genere? does it apeal to a diferent audience? i think the answer to those questions is yes and that shud be taken into acount when passing judgement.

it also descrives what a clone is realy well in my opinion, he is of course no legal expert but he is the type of person legal experts with no experience in the gaming industry shud consult in order to judge these cases fairly.

Aradon
05-17-2014, 08:09 AM
While the base mechanics of MtG are used in Hex, I feel like calling it a 'clone' on the level of some of these other cases is only fair if Hex were to copy MtG's sets/cards in totality as well. The act of playing is going to be different, because the playing pieces are different. For example, if you were to make a chess game, but change how the pieces moved, it'd be highly derivative of chess, but nobody would be calling it a clone that doesn't deserve to be released. If chess were a recent development, I mean.

And yeah, some MtG cards are found in Hex, but many of them are plain staples of a format, needed to have a cogent game environment. Many others are tribute cards, such as Wrath of Zakir, which look to do Hex a fair amount of harm for what were benevolent nods in design, unfortunately.

Edit: I've watched the TotalBiscuit video as well, and while I like his reasoning, I don't know if the courts are going to take an intuitive approach to the question. They're job is to interpret the law and apply it, not ask, "Well, shouldn't they have a shot anyways?" Hex may deserve to be published, but if it violates trade dress, patent laws, or copyright, it won't be.

frychikn
05-17-2014, 08:58 AM
While the base mechanics of MtG are used in Hex, I feel like calling it a 'clone' on the level of some of these other cases is only fair if Hex were to copy MtG's sets/cards in totality as well. The act of playing is going to be different, because the playing pieces are different. For example, if you were to make a chess game, but change how the pieces moved, it'd be highly derivative of chess, but nobody would be calling it a clone that doesn't deserve to be released. If chess were a recent development, I mean.

And yeah, some MtG cards are found in Hex, but many of them are plain staples of a format, needed to have a cogent game environment. Many others are tribute cards, such as Wrath of Zakir, which look to do Hex a fair amount of harm for what were benevolent nods in design, unfortunately.

Edit: I've watched the TotalBiscuit video as well, and while I like his reasoning, I don't know if the courts are going to take an intuitive approach to the question. They're job is to interpret the law and apply it, not ask, "Well, shouldn't they have a shot anyways?" Hex may deserve to be published, but if it violates trade dress, patent laws, or copyright, it won't be.

what if you made a game like chess where every piece but the rook and queen were exactly like chess?

Sullemunk
05-17-2014, 09:03 AM
what if you made a game like chess where every piece but the rook and queen were exactly like chess?
Does annyone own the rights to chess or is it Public domain?

Dichdude
05-17-2014, 09:08 AM
1. You can put a pig in a dress - It's still a pig though.

2. Opinions are like arseholes - Everyone has one.

My 2c Hex is a MtG clone (see point one) which promises to add extra bits but the core game is a clone. But then again see point 2.

We will just have to wait to see what a jury thinks of it all but I would imagine you could argue to a person in the street that one game is copied from the other. I describe Hex to others as a cheaper copy of MtG with a single player tacked on the side.

HeXBazou
05-17-2014, 09:12 AM
similar is diffirent of clone, PoE is a diablo like. But it's not a clone.

And when i describe Hex to others, if i say "it's like Mtg", then i must say "but..... and ...." for 15/20 min

Sadeyx
05-17-2014, 09:26 AM
similar is diffirent of clone, PoE is a diablo like. But it's not a clone.

And when i describe Hex to others, if i say "it's like Mtg", then i must say "but..... and ...." for 15/20 min

From everything I've seen about HEX so far, I would describe it like this;

Hearthstone is a simplified version of MTG, HEX is a more in-depth version of MTG

You're never going avoid comparing MTG and trying to avoid it will make you appear deceptive when they realise it themselves.

Saying its more complex than MTG should inspire enough curiosity to have them raise questions which you can then answer on an individual basis, rather than trying to blurt out everything at once and appear desperate and sales-man like.

Blowfeld
05-17-2014, 09:27 AM
If Crypto should suceed in getting out of this lawsuit well, I will buy a big amount of plat just to help them cover the lawyer's costs more quickly... Sucks to see my favorite game designing team being treated not well...

Xexist
05-17-2014, 09:31 AM
That TotalBiscuit video is great.

Guap
05-17-2014, 09:45 AM
That TotalBiscuit video is great.

What video?

Showsni
05-17-2014, 09:47 AM
Maybe Hex should have done what Wizkids did. They published a game called Pirates, and received a letter from WotC saying it infringed on their patent (a different patent to this one) and they would have the right to sue. So Wizkids turned around and sued WotC first, saying that the patent wasn;t infringed and was itself invalid.

frychikn
05-17-2014, 09:48 AM
From everything I've seen about HEX so far, I would describe it like this;

Hearthstone is a simplified version of MTG, HEX is a more in-depth version of MTG

You're never going avoid comparing MTG and trying to avoid it will make you appear deceptive when they realise it themselves.

Saying its more complex than MTG should inspire enough curiosity to have them raise questions which you can then answer on an individual basis, rather than trying to blurt out everything at once and appear desperate and sales-man like.

curious what exactly about hex makes it more in depth? they feel like the same game to me and all my mtg skill seems to translate exactly into hex. a legitimate question, i personally am not sure what to look at when you mention more depth.

Axle
05-17-2014, 09:49 AM
curious what exactly about hex makes it more in depth? they feel like the same game to me and all my mtg skill seems to translate exactly into hex. a legitimate question, i personally am not sure what to look at when you mention more depth.

The digital mechanics you can put in the game that allow for more skill? The possibility is far more limitless than paper games.

Warrender
05-17-2014, 10:12 AM
HexTCGPro just posted a great article that breaks down the differences between MTG and Hex:

http://hextcgpro.com/nothing-new-under-entraths-sun/

Xexist
05-17-2014, 11:34 AM
What video?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UfwySDtG6s

saffamike
05-17-2014, 12:05 PM
We should get TotalBiscuit a beta key :) He gets it.

GatticusFinch
05-17-2014, 12:52 PM
Maybe Hex should have done what Wizkids did. They published a game called Pirates, and received a letter from WotC saying it infringed on their patent (a different patent to this one) and they would have the right to sue. So Wizkids turned around and sued WotC first, saying that the patent wasn;t infringed and was itself invalid.

Wizkids did not win that one, either. It ended up being settled with a licensing agreement, supposedly what Hex already rejected.

Gorgol
05-17-2014, 01:08 PM
Wizkids did not win that one, either. It ended up being settled with a licensing agreement, supposedly what Hex already rejected.

source on Hex rejecting licensing agreement?

Gorgol
05-17-2014, 01:26 PM
@Kingrags "“We attempted to resolve this issue, but Cryptozoic was unwilling to settle the matter.”" does not = we offered a licensing agreement and Hex rejected.

Kingrags
05-17-2014, 01:26 PM
@Gorgol check first post mate :) top link

Xexist
05-17-2014, 01:29 PM
source on Hex rejecting licensing agreement?

Im sure you know what he meant.. :p

No rejecting licensing, but talks didnt go well, whatever the talks were (presumably bullying :P)

Kingrags
05-17-2014, 01:30 PM
I suppose you are right... I just figured thats what they ment but I suppose they could have been far more unresonable

Gorgol
05-17-2014, 01:32 PM
Im sure you know what he meant.. :p

No rejecting licensing, but talks didnt go well, whatever the talks were (presumably bullying :P)

Then he should have stated as such.

Kingrags
05-17-2014, 01:32 PM
Not that I think a licensing agreement is nessisarily resonable*

Banquetto
05-17-2014, 01:34 PM
mtg doesnt have classes at all, hex does. Wow was an Everquest clone and just as similar as hex, and mtg.

No offence Gwaer, but that is not even remotely close to being true.

WoW's gameplay, systems and visual similarities to EQ are almost zero. The "cloning" basically boils down to "it's an MMORPG where thousands of people play a fantasy RPG together in a persistent world" and "they both use the basic race/class/level mechanics that D&D invented in the 70's".

ossuary
05-17-2014, 03:36 PM
EverQuest, however, WAS a clone of DikuMUD. All they did was add graphics and a crappy, badly cobbled-together story. :)

GatticusFinch
05-17-2014, 07:16 PM
Then he should have stated as such.

What do you think they did, threaten to burn their offices to the ground? The Complaint states they both tried to negotiate a resolution, but could not agree on one. They would not put a factual allegation of that in the complaint if it wasn't true. I'm quite confident a licensing agreement was discussed, and CZE probably balked at the terms.

Hieronymous
05-17-2014, 07:35 PM
What do you think they did, threaten to burn their offices to the ground? The Complaint states they both tried to negotiate a resolution, but could not agree on one. They would not put a factual allegation of that in the complaint if it wasn't true. I'm quite confident a licensing agreement was discussed, and CZE probably balked at the terms.

When you're talking lawyers, there's true and there's "true." The "attempted negotiation" could mean anything from "sell us your company for $1 or we'll sue you into oblivion" to "please give us a listing in the game credits." We really have no way of knowing at this time, until more details come out. There could have been discussion of a licensing agreement or it could have been a forced purchase attempt or it could have been nothing more than a demand letter that said "if you don't close down your company, we're going to sue you."

hex_colin
05-17-2014, 07:59 PM
Can't and won't discuss the details, but one or 2 people I generally don't agree with on these forums have made statements (with uniformed certainty) that are very wrong in this case. Best to wait for the official HEX/CZE response to the complaint.

BenRGamer
05-17-2014, 08:22 PM
Don't even hint, don't even mention you know details.

So... yeah.

GatticusFinch
05-17-2014, 08:24 PM
Can't and won't discuss the details, but one or 2 people I generally don't agree with on these forums have made statements (with uniformed certainty) that are very wrong in this case. Best to wait for the official HEX/CZE response to the complaint.

Oh?

GatticusFinch
05-17-2014, 08:29 PM
When you're talking lawyers, there's true and there's "true." The "attempted negotiation" could mean anything from "sell us your company for $1 or we'll sue you into oblivion" to "please give us a listing in the game credits." We really have no way of knowing at this time, until more details come out. There could have been discussion of a licensing agreement or it could have been a forced purchase attempt or it could have been nothing more than a demand letter that said "if you don't close down your company, we're going to sue you."

Highly unlikely. If they did, they were stupid for putting it in the complaint, because CZE's lawyer would respond to that paragraph with "the allegations of Paragraph X are specifically denied and Defendants affirmatively state that Plaintiff's 'negotiation' consisted of a letter stating it would 'stomp CZE into oblivion.'"

That's a good way to give your opponent an excellent opportunity to get the judge pissed off at you.

Leingod
05-17-2014, 08:30 PM
No offence Gwaer, but that is not even remotely close to being true.

WoW's gameplay, systems and visual similarities to EQ are almost zero. The "cloning" basically boils down to "it's an MMORPG where thousands of people play a fantasy RPG together in a persistent world" and "they both use the basic race/class/level mechanics that D&D invented in the 70's".

A better example would probably be something like WoW suing RIFT or GW2 suing Wildstar since those are significantly more cloned.

Though technically D&D could probably have sued the hell out of EQ and WoW if this lawsuit had for some reason been done before that. Or the world only ever being able to play Mario, Street Fighter, and Quake.

GatticusFinch
05-17-2014, 08:33 PM
A better example would probably be something like WoW suing RIFT or GW2 suing Wildstar since those are significantly more cloned.

Though technically D&D could probably have sued the hell out of EQ and WoW if this lawsuit had for some reason been done before that. Or the world only ever being able to play Mario, Street Fighter, and Quake.

You can't sue people over tropes like that--shit like dwarves, elves, wizards, etc. I can write all the books about teenage wizards I want, I just can't write any about Harry Potter.

Gwaer
05-17-2014, 09:07 PM
The powers of particular colors are also tropes that are well explored in pretty much every facet of our society, red is empassioned and fiery, quick to rage or action, blue is airy/watery/the color of reflection and wisdom, wild, in the setting is also green for growth, beasts, and such, white is purity and sanctity, healing, devotion, etc. blood in the setting, is ritual blood magic, dark arts, curses undeath, etc. it makes sense for their old magic of entrath. The blood and wild magics are also different than the other 3 in some way that isn't fully explained but hinted at in many places. Even if their colors are represented in hex, and mtg, the meanings behind those colors are well in the public domain and generally in american consciousness even if you have never played a TCG in your life.

Banquetto
05-17-2014, 09:37 PM
A better example would probably be something like WoW suing RIFT or GW2 suing Wildstar since those are significantly more cloned.

WoW and Rift was what I had in my mind. It would be unreasonable for such a lawsuit to occur (just as, imho, it is unreasonable for this MtG/Hex lawsuit to occur), but Rift, like Hex, was pretty clearly intended to take the foundations of a popular, existing game, and add some cool new ideas on top of it.

And Rift specifically had some areas that just made me shake my head and say "come on guys, at least pretend to be doing something different." Like the crafting system.. there were so many decisions there that were identical to WoW for no good reason (skilling from 1 to 300, new recipes every 5 points, new tier every 75 that required visiting a trainer, orange/yellow/green/grey recipes giving guaranteed/high/low/no chance of skillups, etc. etc.).

The most blatant clone of WoW was, of course, Alganon. But that was a little different to the MtG/Hex situation because they took a polished, quality game and reproduced it with a quality level that made MtG Online look like the pinnacle of achievement in the games industry. :-)

Arbiter
05-17-2014, 10:10 PM
A person who had never played TCGs who looked at the colour wheels and breaksdowns of both Hex and Magic, and referenced the research notes and documents that Magic have written on their product over the years can come to only one conclusion: that HEX copied the colour wheel of Magic in its entirety. There is no other conclusion to make.

There are several things that could have been done to avoid this. For example, instead of the elemental forces of earth and fire in red and wind and water in blue, earth could have been moved to green and air to white. They could have decided that white, being order, would have counter magic and blue being mind could have got the pacifying effects. Artifacts could have been given their own resource type or absorbed into multiple colours. Anyone could think of different decisions that could have been made.

The thing is though that all these changes affect everything else, and need to be extensively researched. It takes time and money to test these things and make sure that everything is balanced. Working out how to balance out the disadvantage of going second and the mulligan process took years for Magic, and the rules have been in constant evolution (and HEX uses the latest rules for the most part). The only defence HEX would have is if they can prove their research process designed every aspect of the game, and that the game just wouldn't fit unless it used the Magic game engine. I doubt that they have that.

What HEX did is take the Magic rules and tournament engine in its entirety, change the resource style to make it more forgiving (and, yes, it is better - though still not forgiving enough for some) and develop a stand alone expansion where the predominant theme was "digital environment and persistent card changes". Taking the entire rules and colour wheel saved HEX millions of dollars and person-years of labour and R&D. IF HEX were a physical card game, I'd say they had no chance. As a digital only environment I think it will be interesting in court, they could win but I will be surprised if they win unscathed.

When FFG wanted to do Android: Netrunner, they negotiated and dealt with WotC first. WotC had not done anything with Netrunner (virtually since its first release) as it just didn't catch on despite being a better game in some people's eyes. It was negotiated, and needed to be, despite not being around for well over a decade. Android: Netrunner has more diferences with Netrunner than HEX has with MtG, but FFG and Hasbro still had to come to a deal first despite the game not having a presence for so long. Magic, on the contrary, has over 20 years of presence in the marketplace.

Arbiter
05-17-2014, 10:16 PM
WoW and Rift was what I had in my mind. It would be unreasonable for such a lawsuit to occur (just as, imho, it is unreasonable for this MtG/Hex lawsuit to occur), but Rift, like Hex, was pretty clearly intended to take the foundations of a popular, existing game, and add some cool new ideas on top of it.

And Rift specifically had some areas that just made me shake my head and say "come on guys, at least pretend to be doing something different." Like the crafting system.. there were so many decisions there that were identical to WoW for no good reason (skilling from 1 to 300, new recipes every 5 points, new tier every 75 that required visiting a trainer, orange/yellow/green/grey recipes giving guaranteed/high/low/no chance of skillups, etc. etc.).

The most blatant clone of WoW was, of course, Alganon. But that was a little different to the MtG/Hex situation because they took a polished, quality game and reproduced it with a quality level that made MtG Online look like the pinnacle of achievement in the games industry. :-)

Actually Palladium (I think that was the company's name) had a lawsuit with Trion over Rift, because they owned the Rift (or is it Rifts) roleplaying system. I believe that one was a trade dress - there were no similarities in the products or worlds, but a lot of people thought on hearing it that it was an MMO based on the game system.

Rift had a different philosophy for raiding than WoW, and had significantly more grind. The soul and talent system made for significant differences and the choice was made for realistic rather than cartoon graphics. I think that while there was much that was similar it had more differences than HEX and MtG. Maybe the real mistake for HEX was rushing into beta with no PVE components and only the tournament portion of the game. Rift could point to rifts, invasions, a swappable soul system and even crafting dailies from its beta, things which WoW didn't have at the time.

Gwaer
05-17-2014, 10:16 PM
Those color options just don't make sense from our collective understanding of what those colors represent. At least as a culture in america, and since the game is made by americans that makes perfect sense. Your assertion that the only rational conclusion someone new to both would make is that it was copied is ridiculous.

I guarantee if you go out and survey a crowd who had no knowledge of TCG's of any variety and gave them a list of abilities/archetypes, and they had to match them with the colors that a vast majority of the time the colors would match up with the abilities that are in hex. MTG did not magically create the associations of these powers to the colors, they picked the ones that made functional sense in the mind of the player as a whole to the best of their ability. Just randomly assigning different things to different colors of course could be done, and easily, they could have rotated the entire color wheel one step to the left.... But WHY, it doesn't make any sense to have lifedrain, and blood sacrifice associated with wild. And there is no legal requirement for them to make those changes, because these kinds of tropes cannot be controlled. They're out in the wild everywhere in popular culture.

GatticusFinch
05-17-2014, 10:26 PM
The problem with the color tropes is that the individual cards in those colors are based on classic Magic cards that we all recognize. Some of them have very similar names and similar card text, while others have identical names and identical card text. Some of them were designed specifically for that call back to Magic--Spectral Lotus, Angel of Dawn, etc. That's going to cut against the color trope argument. You can say the angels had to be white, but they didn't have to have Angel of Dawn be Serra Angel. Murder didn't have to be called Murder. Those are tough facts to argue around.

Hieronymous
05-17-2014, 10:30 PM
I'm not sure copying color tropes is a problem. Tropes aren't copyrightable. You can't copyright the association of red with war and violence and anger, for example, or the association of white with purity and healing.

The question isn't "are Hex and MTG similar," they are. It's "is Hex a reproduction of M:TG", and it isn't, for a lot of reasons, ranging from the small and detailed (extinction and wrath of god are in different colors!) to the broad and overwhelming (resource system vs. mana system; digital vs. physical game).

Arbiter
05-17-2014, 10:34 PM
Those color options just don't make sense from our collective understanding of what those colors represent. At least as a culture in america, and since the game is made by americans that makes perfect sense. Your assertion that the only rational conclusion someone new to both would make is that it was copied is ridiculous.

I guarantee if you go out and survey a crowd who had no knowledge of TCG's of any variety and gave them a list of abilities/archetypes, and they had to match them with the colors that a vast majority of the time the colors would match up with the abilities that are in hex. MTG did not magically create the associations of these powers to the colors, they picked the ones that made functional sense in the mind of the player as a whole to the best of their ability. Just randomly assigning different things to different colors of course could be done, and easily, they could have rotated the entire color wheel one step to the left.... But WHY, it doesn't make any sense to have lifedrain, and blood sacrifice associated with wild. And there is no legal requirement for them to make those changes, because these kinds of tropes cannot be controlled. They're out in the wild everywhere in popular culture.

You are forgetting that the colour wheel was revamped by WotC a few years after its release. Some things moved into other colours for balance purposes. Naturalize (in green) replaced Disenchant (in white) for example. HEX has a version of Naturalize in green. The colour wheel in HEX is flagrant plagiarism. It's not a case of "oh, all these colours belong there because society says so". WotC have years worth of articles on the *research* and *balance reasons* behind putting various abilities in various parts of the colour pie.

I get that people love CZE, Cory and everyone associated with HEX. I think it's great. But bare-faced lying and ignoring inconvenient truths does not help anyone. HEX uses the core rules, the core colours and the ability colour wheel of Magic. It innovates from a starting point of Magic the Gathering, but at its core is Magic the Gathering.

Gwaer
05-17-2014, 10:38 PM
you can make an argument that a cheap kill spell needed to exist in blood, and that it was too strong when it killed anything, and had to be tuned to killing anything but artifacts. They also can't claim to own the name Murder, and the description of what murder does is obviously going to be kill something. Artifacts also, quite difficult to murder in any normal sense. Each card fits within its trope, if there are a few cards even that are exactly the same, it's not many, and none of them use anything that MTG has a claim against individually.

Is it possible that a judge and jury can't make that distinction? Absolutely, but in the context of the gaming community, and game creation community, the similarity between MTG and HEX, is worlds away from tripletown and yetitown, or the complete exact reskin that added or changed nothing with tetris, or even threes and 2048. There are a lot of examples of blatant copying. There are also a lot of examples of iteration, and in my opinion, hex falls squarely in the iteration category. But I am a gamer, I played every single doom esque fps game when they all came out, and loved different things about most of them, and generally feel that each of them moved the genre forward in some way. I am used to that. I think it is positive and necessary. I also recognize a group of people that have no knowledge of video game history may come to a different understanding, and I am terrified of what that future looks like.



You are forgetting that the colour wheel was revamped by WotC a few years after its release. Some things moved into other colours for balance purposes. Naturalize (in green) replaced Disenchant (in white) for example. HEX has a version of Naturalize in green. The colour wheel in HEX is flagrant plagiarism. It's not a case of "oh, all these colours belong there because society says so". WotC have years worth of articles on the *research* and *balance reasons* behind putting various abilities in various parts of the colour pie.

I get that people love CZE, Cory and everyone associated with HEX. I think it's great. But bare-faced lying and ignoring inconvenient truths does not help anyone. HEX uses the core rules, the core colours and the ability colour wheel of Magic. It innovates from a starting point of Magic the Gathering, but at its core is Magic the Gathering.

This is all drivel, and provably false. Colors share themes, even in cultural understanding there are multiple ways of destroying artifacts, be it by holy power killing the heresy of science, or nature's ability to inevitably overcome the works of man. Each new set will explore some balance of those themes. The argument that just because one set of magic explored that theme in a color, and another set explored it in another color doesn't change the fact that those are both tropes with flavor associated to the ideals those colors represent.

GatticusFinch
05-17-2014, 10:41 PM
The question isn't "are Hex and MTG similar," they are. It's "is Hex a reproduction of M:TG", and it isn't, for a lot of reasons, ranging from the small and detailed (extinction and wrath of god are in different colors!) to the broad and overwhelming (resource system vs. mana system; digital vs. physical game).

No, you're totally wrong on this one. In fact, the very question that will be asked on the copyright claim is if Hex is "substantially similar" to Magic. There are different legal tests used to determine that, but none of them rise to the level of requiring it be an exact reproduction.

Gwaer
05-17-2014, 10:45 PM
To be perfectly frank there is no color wheel. There is a general trend toward a loose theme in each color with exceptions to most of those rules found somewhere in the history of magic. There are ideals most closely associated with those colors, and there is no place better than the first set to explore the closest possible themes to the exact representation of your colors in your setting, which is more or less what set 1 accomplishes. Throughout the history of hex you can guarantee that which effects are in what colors will shift and change as those boundaries are explored.

GatticusFinch
05-17-2014, 10:49 PM
People keep coming back to the FPS issue and it is totally not relevant. People are failing to understand the differences between the copyright claim, the patent claim, and the trade dress claim.

(1) A game where you are a first person shooter is an idea.
(2) Ideas are not copyrightable.
(3) Expressions of ideas are copyrightable.

I can make whatever kind of FPS I want, but I can't make Dogenstein 3D set in a nazi castle. WotC can't file winnable copyright or trade dress claims against anyone making a card game just because it has cards in it, because a card game is an idea. The copyright claim is about Hex's expression of WotC's idea of card game in MtG, and whether or not it is substantially similar to the point it infringes on their creation.

This is not some earth shattering, "gaming as we know it" changing lawsuit.

Gwaer
05-17-2014, 10:56 PM
It absolutely is relevant, each of those games had a picture of your guy, that took damage, located at the bottom of the screen, the gun in the center of the screen, the same types of guns with some notable additions, but same as hex, so many things were done identically because they functionally made sense, That's where you're not comprehending the issue with their trade dress claim. It makes sense functionally to lay out your cards in a certain way, Hex has cost and theshold on the left so they're always visible, text at the bottom and pictures at the top, because most people are going to identify their cards by the picture, and it doesn't make sense to have your cards slightly higher than the bottom of the screen so they can slide down when you hover over them to get a full look at the art, all of these choices they are claiming are style choices are actually function choices. The size of the cards is already an issue because they are basically unreadable as is, and don't fit well on the screen once you get 6 of them so being much bigger would just mean they have to shrink faster.

The issue isn't that there were a rash of FPS games that came out near eachother, the issue is that they were all basically identical in implementation with iterative improvments, and that is how all gaming genres have evolved in my experience.


Hex is nowhere near your dogenstein example, though if done correctly that would likely be protected as parody. In fact many of those decisions were actually changed to be better represented in a digital medium, IE the location of costs and threshold.

It is actually some kind of shattering gaming as we know it changing lawsuit. If this succeeds on copyright or trade dress grounds we'll see law suits against games like dawngate, league of legends from moba creators, potentially games like torchlight and poe, from blizzard. Etc.

If it succeeds on patent grounds, which imo is the best case scenario, we may not see many changes, but I'm honestly not sure what kind of patents blizzard holds on arpgs, or who might hold patents on mobas.

Cacheelma
05-17-2014, 10:58 PM
You can change the colors around. You can change the name of the colors around. One thing that they mentioned in the complaint that you can't deny though is the fact that there are "5" distinct "colors/factions/whatever" in both Hex and MTG.

5.

It doesn't help either that these 5 individuals are also very thematically similar in both games.

Let's face it: a TCG game doesn't need to have 5 colors/factions/whatever with similar themes to MTG. Hearthstone doesn't. Duel of Champions doesn't. WoW TCG doesn't. Pokemon doesn't. Yu-gi-oh! doesn't. SolForge doesn't.

By the way guys, we should realize that we are all on the same side here. There's no use in attacking others who don't share your opinions. I invested in this game too and that means I also have something to lose here. But I am also MTG player and I didn't invest in Hex because I want a MTG clone; I want MMO-TCG with PvE experience. And that's nowhere to be found here. But I guess that's the topic for another day.

Hieronymous
05-17-2014, 11:05 PM
No, you're totally wrong on this one. In fact, the very question that will be asked on the copyright claim is if Hex is "substantially similar" to Magic. There are different legal tests used to determine that, but none of them rise to the level of requiring it be an exact reproduction.

"Substantially similar" (if that's the relevant standard -- I'm not sure it is?) has a very specific meaning though. It isn't just "are these two things like each other." It requires a pretty precise level of similarity, far more than the similarities between Hex and MTG.



Hex is nowhere near your dogenstein example, though if done correctly that would likely be protected as parody. In fact many of those decisions were actually changed to be better represented in a digital medium, IE the location of costs and threshold.

It is actually some kind of shattering gaming as we know it changing lawsuit. If this succeeds on copyright or trade dress grounds we'll see law suits against games like dawngate, league of legends from moba creators, potentially games like torchlight and poe, from blizzard. Etc.

If it succeeds on patent grounds, which imo is the best case scenario, we may not see many changes, but I'm honestly not sure what kind of patents blizzard holds on arpgs, or who might hold patents on mobas.


The danger if it succeeds on patent grounds is that every major game company starts patent trolling each other and the general litigiousness of the computer gaming world goes up exponentially. It'll take a while because old concepts won't get patented but new ones will and over time it would be very bad for the industry. Imagine if Blizzard had tried to take out a patent on the concept of a real-time strategy computer game, for example.

Gwaer
05-17-2014, 11:06 PM
So you're claiming now that magic holds some sort of right to TCG's with 5 factions? I mean, that is incredibly close to an MMO having the same number and general type of classes. Believe me, I am intimately aware of the ineptitude of juries to grasp finer points. It's notorious. I believe that there absolutely is a chance that everything goes tits up and Hex loses big. I do not believe however that is what should happen from the legal precedents that have already been set. But it absolutely could happen, and it could happen for a reason as simple as that.

Rehab
05-17-2014, 11:07 PM
If Hex is a clone of MTG why does everyone here have a preference for Hex? Why not go and play the original, the one that we have been playing and collecting for years. The one with all of the tournaments already incorporated into their online client. The one with the decent single player game, Dotp, with a barely playable multi-player(deck building, card collecting and trading not included). Surely most of the people who visit this forum have way more invested in MTG than they do in Hex. Why did I sit around for months waiting for this game to get to a playable state when the MTGO was available all along. I kind of feel foolish now that I think about it.

Clearly everyone who backed this game thought they were backing a MTG game and they're just too embarrassed to admit that they were deceived. Those villains at CZE sure pulled a fast one on us, making us eagerly anticipate a game that we have already been playing for years.

Arbiter
05-17-2014, 11:09 PM
This is all drivel, and provably false. Colors share themes, even in cultural understanding there are multiple ways of destroying artifacts, be it by holy power killing the heresy of science, or nature's ability to inevitably overcome the works of man. Each new set will explore some balance of those themes. The argument that just because one set of magic explored that theme in a color, and another set explored it in another color doesn't change the fact that those are both tropes with flavor associated to the ideals those colors represent.

You cannot say something is provably false without proving it. Have you ever played Magic? Were you reading the various documents on colour and balance that WotC have written over the years. I'm talking about the colour wheel, that WotC can prove they have defined and balanced for gameplay - not just to conform to societal norms - that HEX has copied and cannot get away with "well everyone would assign those abilities there, your honour". What I said was the truth, I am sorry that you cannot handle it, It doesn't really resolve an argument if all you do is resort to the bullying and belittling of people that disagree with you. It says a lot more about your character than it does about your points.

GatticusFinch
05-17-2014, 11:16 PM
It absolutely is relevant, each of those games had a picture of your guy, that took damage, located at the bottom of the screen, the gun in the center of the screen, the same types of guns with some notable additions, but same as hex, so many things were done identically because they functionally made sense, That's where you're not comprehending the issue with their trade dress claim. It makes sense functionally to lay out your cards in a certain way, Hex has cost and theshold on the left so they're always visible, text at the bottom and pictures at the top, because most people are going to identify their cards by the picture, and it doesn't make sense to have your cards slightly higher than the bottom of the screen so they can slide down when you hover over them to get a full look at the art, all of these choices they are claiming are style choices are actually function choices. The size of the cards is already an issue because they are basically unreadable as is, and don't fit well on the screen once you get 6 of them so being much bigger would just mean they have to shrink faster.

The issue isn't that there were a rash of FPS games that came out near eachother, the issue is that they were all basically identical in implementation with iterative improvments, and that is how all gaming genres have evolved in my experience.


Hex is nowhere near your dogenstein example, though if done correctly that would likely be protected as parody. In fact many of those decisions were actually changed to be better represented in a digital medium, IE the location of costs and threshold.

It is actually some kind of shattering gaming as we know it changing lawsuit. If this succeeds on copyright or trade dress grounds we'll see law suits against games like dawngate, league of legends from moba creators, potentially games like torchlight and poe, from blizzard. Etc.

If it succeeds on patent grounds, which imo is the best case scenario, we may not see many changes, but I'm honestly not sure what kind of patents blizzard holds on arpgs, or who might hold patents on mobas.

It's not, you're wrong, sorry. There cannot be a copyright lawsuit over Halo and Call of Duty because they both have guns on the screen. An FPS is an idea; a TCG is an idea. Doom is an expression of an idea; Hex and Magic are expressions of an idea. This should not be that hard to understand, but you are apparently going to die on that hill.

You can keep telling me that I'm "not comprehending" the issues, but the fact of the matter is only one us could actually dispense legal advice without committing a felony and it's not you. You keep weaving back and forth between three different legal theories into one giant clusterfuck of a misunderstanding of the law and then telling the people who actually do this for a living that they don't know what they are talking about?

Cacheelma
05-17-2014, 11:17 PM
So you're claiming now that magic holds some sort of right to TCG's with 5 factions? I mean, that is incredibly close to an MMO having the same number and general type of classes. Believe me, I am intimately aware of the ineptitude of juries to grasp finer points. It's notorious. I believe that there absolutely is a chance that everything goes tits up and Hex loses big. I do not believe however that is what should happen from the legal precedents that have already been set. But it absolutely could happen, and it could happen for a reason as simple as that.

You have to look at the big picture though, not just some small details. But at the same time you can't ignore these small details either.

I mean, a small and trivial things like "having 5 factions" alone doesn't mean anything. But adding this to other small (major or minor or whatever) similarities and you are looking at something that is very similar to the other. That's the point of the complaint from my understanding.

Looking at this situation from a different perspective: If HEX came first, and MTG came later (everything else about the two games were the way they are now except maybe the vast amount of cards MTG has printed and imagine that WotC is a small, upcoming, KS-funded company), and CZE sued WotC. How would you react? Would you say CZE is bullying indie WotC? Would you demand CZE to drop the case?

Gwaer
05-17-2014, 11:19 PM
MTG's color wheel that they have cultivated as you say, conforms to societal norms. I cannot tell you how many fantasy books I have read that have water magic associated with mind for example, or fire magic with rage, hatred, anger, etc. Even if MTG created it initially, which I very much doubt, it is out now, they are in common usage all over the place, and it will be trivially easy to bring up examples of their use in games, pop culture, movies, books, whathaveyou. The color pie as you put it, is not a part of the patent, they have no copyrights on the general themes of the colors, and lastly, they fail as trade dress since they have the function of giving the player a general idea of the theme of the story, they allow an easy to remember representation of a colors general bailiwick, so that even a newish player in draft for the first time can more intuitively pick out what a color is about in a very short time without necessarily memorizing each individual card.


It's not, you're wrong, sorry. There cannot be a copyright lawsuit over Halo and Call of Duty because they both have guns on the screen. An FPS is an idea; a TCG is an idea. Doom is an expression of an idea; Hex and Magic are expressions of an idea. This should not be that hard to understand, but you are apparently going to die on that hill.

You can keep telling me that I'm "not comprehending" the issues, but the fact of the matter is only one us could actually dispense legal advice without committing a felony and it's not you. You keep weaving back and forth between three different legal theories into one giant clusterfuck of a misunderstanding of the law and then telling the people who actually do this for a living that they don't know what they are talking about?

You have no idea what I could or could not do and commit a felony, and yes. I am saying you have no idea what you're talking about in this area. Also, a word of advice, from one amicable forum user to another, if you are a lawyer, and you insist on continuing to spout that you are a lawyer at every opportunity, while continuing to offer these... opinions that look very much like legal advice at times, you may consider choosing your wording a bit more carefully, because it is not difficult to associate your handle in this instance with a real person, who might be misconstrued as giving legal advice on the internet to people in certain states which look upon that dis-favorably. Just something to consider.

DeusPhasmatis
05-17-2014, 11:21 PM
People keep coming back to the FPS issue and it is totally not relevant. People are failing to understand the differences between the copyright claim, the patent claim, and the trade dress claim.

(1) A game where you are a first person shooter is an idea.
(2) Ideas are not copyrightable.
(3) Expressions of ideas are copyrightable.

I can make whatever kind of FPS I want, but I can't make Dogenstein 3D set in a nazi castle. WotC can't file winnable copyright or trade dress claims against anyone making a card game just because it has cards in it, because a card game is an idea. The copyright claim is about Hex's expression of WotC's idea of card game in MtG, and whether or not it is substantially similar to the point it infringes on their creation.

This is not some earth shattering, "gaming as we know it" changing lawsuit.

IANAL, so correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I know game mechanics are not copyrightable (that falls under patent law). If Hasbro was to win on the copyright claims due to similarity of the functional (re: non-artistic) components, it would set a new precedent.

Hieronymous
05-17-2014, 11:23 PM
Looking at this situation from a different perspective: If HEX came first, and MTG came later (everything else about the two games were the way they are now except maybe the vast amount of cards MTG has printed and imagine that WotC is a small, upcoming, KS-funded company), and CZE sued WotC. How would you react? Would you say CZE is bullying indie WotC? Would you demand CZE to drop the case?

If it were going the other way I think that would be fine too. Either way all the lore, art, symbols, and other copyrightable expressions are different, so that's not an issue. More importantly, if time were running backwards here, MTG would be reinventing a digital game as a physical one, which would be a different kind of fundamental innovation. They'd have to take out all of Hex's digital-only features, but on the other hand, you could trade and collect cards without having to go through the licensed centralized online CZE-run auction house. You'd basically be trading some game features for increased collectability and the ability to play offline with friends who don't have computers and Hex accounts.

Either way you run the clock, the games are significantly different. In one the cards have two sides, in the other they have three. One you can play on a kitchen table, one you can't.

Anssi
05-17-2014, 11:24 PM
I wish everyone would just put Gwaer on ignore.

bojanglesz
05-17-2014, 11:25 PM
I wish everyone would just put Gwaer on ignore.

But he hitchhiked as a kid...he knows things man, like, the world and shit.

GatticusFinch
05-17-2014, 11:27 PM
"Substantially similar" (if that's the relevant standard -- I'm not sure it is?) has a very specific meaning though. It isn't just "are these two things like each other." It requires a pretty precise level of similarity, far more than the similarities between Hex and MTG.

If you don't know what the standard is, how do you know what its "very specific meaning" is? Do you know what appellate circuit this case is in? Do you know that circuit's test for substantial similarity?

Gwaer
05-17-2014, 11:28 PM
But he hitchhiked as a kid...he knows things man, like, the world and shit.
^ true story, I do know things.

Cacheelma
05-17-2014, 11:30 PM
If it were going the other way I think that would be fine too. Either way all the lore, art, symbols, and other copyrightable expressions are different, so that's not an issue. More importantly, if time were running backwards here, MTG would be reinventing a digital game as a physical one, which would be a different kind of fundamental innovation. They'd have to take out all of Hex's digital-only features, but on the other hand, you could trade and collect cards without having to go through the licensed centralized online CZE-run auction house. You'd basically be trading some game features for increased collectability and the ability to play offline with friends who don't have computers and Hex accounts.

Either way you run the clock, the games are significantly different. In one the cards have two sides, in the other they have three.

The thing is though, HEX cards right now are also two-sided (right? or am I too stupid to flip them to the double-back side?).

I don't know about the law, but had the PvE side of Hex come out first and there is THAT big part of the game to differentiate HEX from MtG (and DotP), we might not see this legal action whatsoever. right? I mean, cards would be able to level up and transform and do so many other things instead of just be "MtG-like" the way they are now.

GatticusFinch
05-17-2014, 11:33 PM
You have no idea what I could or could not do and commit a felony, and yes. I am saying you have no idea what you're talking about in this area. Also, a word of advice, from one amicable forum user to another, if you are a lawyer, and you insist on continuing to spout that you are a lawyer at every opportunity, while continuing to offer these... opinions that look very much like legal advice at times, you may consider choosing your wording a bit more carefully, because it is not difficult to associate your handle in this instance with a real person, who might be misconstrued as giving legal advice on the internet to people in certain states which look upon that dis-favorably. Just something to consider.

Did you just threaten to try to out me and accuse me of a crime? Are you out of your fucking mind? Who am I giving legal advice to? Has anyone in this thread been named as a party in this lawsuit?

Gwaer
05-17-2014, 11:45 PM
Did you just threaten to try to out me and accuse me of a crime? Are you out of your fucking mind? Who am I giving legal advice to? Has anyone in this thread been named as a party in this lawsuit?

I did no such thing, I said your constant assertions that you are a lawyer, and your forceful opinions have some small chance of being misconstrued by some anonymous reader as legal advice since you have never once prefaced that you are not, or can not offer legal advice on a forum in this manner. Is that a crime? I've just seen lawyers often putting that disclaimer places, when they talk about legal matters. *shrug* I've no idea.

bojanglesz
05-17-2014, 11:49 PM
This is fucking awesome

DeusPhasmatis
05-17-2014, 11:54 PM
You know, the comparisons between M:tG Murder (http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=259677) and Hex Murder (http://hex.tcgbrowser.com/#!/cards/cardid=19) have been bothering me for a while. And I just figured out why: It's because I want all you young whippersnappers to get the hell off my lawn! You don't recognize Dark Banishing (http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?printed=true&multiverseid=2443) when you see one!

Gwaer
05-17-2014, 11:56 PM
However, back on topic, I do not understand why you ask questions of people that you are capable of answering, and then not answering them. This case was filed in the 9th circuit. Yes copyright claims have a good shot there since the 9th circuit doesn't apply some tests to the question "is this substantially similar" that other places in the country would, which will be applicable in this case, if they move even farther pro gaming copyrights than anywhere else in the nation has so far... Which honestly that circuit is the most likely to do of anywhere else in the nation in my opinion. I still think those chances are slim. I have never claimed that it is impossible for Hex to lose this thing if it goes to trial. It's certainly a risk anytime you go to trial for anything.

Cacheelma
05-18-2014, 12:02 AM
The two Murder cards are actually functioning a bit differently: MtG's Murder can destroy ANY creature. Hex's Murder can only destroy non-artifact creature (oops, I mean, Troop).

A card from MtG that has identical function to Hex's Murder would be Go For The Throat (http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=213799) which is quite recent.

As you can see, there's no need for Hex's version of Murder to "cost" the same as MtG's Murder (which would help avoid the comparison a little better) as they are not identical in term of function. But they somehow cost the same. Why?

And Dark Banishing uses the keyword "Bury" which means "Destroy and can't be regenerated", which is not the same as just "Destroy".

Hieronymous
05-18-2014, 12:05 AM
If you don't know what the standard is, how do you know what its "very specific meaning" is? Do you know what appellate circuit this case is in? Do you know that circuit's test for substantial similarity?

I'm mostly going by the articles by attorneys posted so far, which described the standards used. I don't remember seeing the specific language but the description of the triple town/ yeti town case had a much more precise degree of similarity than we have here, to the point where it appeared the games had functionally identical rulesets and even the same words in the game name. I also am leery of putting too much weight on the Yeti Town case because it's an outlier compared to prior law and there are other elements going on ( possible violation of nondisclosure agreements, etc.) that I think make it less valuable for comparison with the suit at hand, even if they are in the same district.

Basically, the core story of the yeti town / triple town dispute was one company getting an advance copy of another company's game, reverse engineering it, and taking the reverse engineered game to market. The court understandably wanted to punish that. The situation here is different -- the games have a number of very significant differences and there's no corporate skullduggery going on, rather the reverse in the form of corporate bullying/patent trolling, which a court may not want to reward.

Said another way, punishing publication of a re-skinned copy is a lot different from punishing genuine innovation.

Gwaer
05-18-2014, 12:06 AM
They are likely the same cost because they felt a cheaper murder would be too powerful, and a stronger murder would be too weak in their set. I'm certain that will come up at the trial, if it goes that far, and I'll be very interested in what gets said on both sides... I do worry very much about CZE being in the position of having to get quite technical about why things are costed what they are costed and losing people =/ It's kind of boring to people not interested in tcg's.

I actually would be very interested in what people who play league of legends think about the game called Dawngate.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgBI2NDr4YQ I think it looks incredibly similar, and I just downloaded it to give it a shot. Saw it in totalbiscuits video breakdown of the wotc/hex thing.

DeusPhasmatis
05-18-2014, 12:09 AM
As you can see, there's no need for Hex's version of Murder to "cost" the same as MtG's Murder (which would help avoid the comparison a little better) as they are not identical in term of function. But they somehow cost the same. Why?Because Hex: Shards of Fate isn't Magic: the Gathering, so what works for Magic's balance isn't the same as what works for Hex's balance. I'd also like to point out that the cost of a card is part of its function.


And Dark Banishing uses the keyword "Bury" which means "Destroy and can't be regenerated", which is not the same as just "Destroy".Can't bury in Hex because troops can't regenerate.

Gwaer
05-18-2014, 12:14 AM
Can't bury in Hex because troops can't regenerate.

http://hex.tcgbrowser.com/#!/cards/search=bury

That's their keyword for discard from deck.

Cacheelma
05-18-2014, 12:18 AM
Because Hex: Shards of Fate isn't Magic: the Gathering, so what works for Magic's balance isn't the same as what works for Hex's balance. I'd also like to point out that the cost of a card is part of its function.

Can't bury in Hex because troops can't regenerate.

My point is, this is one of the small details that Hex is similar to MtG when it doesn't have to be so. Why name AND have the cost of a card the same as MtG when you don't need to? Same goes for why have 5 factions? Why have a set of similar card types? Why the starting life is the same? Why the opening hand size is the same? Why the lower limit deck size is the same? Why the copy limit of a card in a deck is the same? Why the rarity levels of cards are the same?

All these are small details. Individually they are trivial. But when you look at the big picture, they're very needlessly similar.

DeusPhasmatis
05-18-2014, 12:20 AM
http://hex.tcgbrowser.com/#!/cards/search=bury

That's their keyword for discard from deck.

I'll take solace in the technicality that "Bury target troop." isn't a valid action text in Hex.

Hieronymous
05-18-2014, 12:29 AM
My point is, this is one of the small details that Hex is similar to MtG when it doesn't have to be so. Why name AND have the cost of a card the same as MtG when you don't need to? Same goes for why have 5 factions? Why have a set of similar card types? Why the starting life is the same? Why the opening hand size is the same? Why the lower limit deck size is the same? Why the copy limit of a card in a deck is the same? Why the rarity levels of cards are the same?

All these are small details. Individually they are trivial. But when you look at the big picture, they're very needlessly similar.

For card names part of the problem is that there are like 20 years of Magic cards so it's hard to throw a dart at the dictionary and NOT hit something that's been a M:TG card name. You can't copyright using "murder" to mean "kill a thing." Past that, some of these are things where natural game balance is going to gravitate. M:TG's rules exist for gameplay reasons -- more than four copies of a card or smaller than a sixty-card deck, for example, exist because those are the points that if you go past them, decks get silly or bad or broken and aren't fun to play. Past that, to the extent that this stuff isn't copyrightable . . .


Well, look at, say, Dungeons and Dragons and Tolkien. Early D&D obviously incorporated a lot of concepts right out of Tolkien (elves, "halflings," orcs, trolls, magic rings and swords, wizards, rangers, etc.) They did that partly because they were building on Tolkien's work and partly because they wanted to appeal to people who had read Tolkien, so forth. But they probably didn't violate Tolkien's copyrights because you can't copyright the concept of elves or wizards and because they were transforming Tolkien's work into a new medium (a game, not a novel).

Similarly here. Hex is similar to MTG in a lot of ways and is going to appeal to people who've played MTG. But that doesn't mean it necessarily violates MTG's copyrights or patents, just like every other game ever written that contained the phrase "hit points" didn't violate AD&D's copyrights. It's not necessarily bad to write a new thing that has enough similarities to an old thing to appeal to fans of the old thing. Here, Hex is taking the concepts of a physical card game and making a digital card game with a number of significant gameplay differences as a result of that transformation.

(one caveat: Taking the concept of "orc" might've been a little shadier. Tolkien did actually invent that, and it's a unique concept and form/depiction. And yes, I'm using the example of D&D because WotC owns TSR).

Arbiter
05-18-2014, 12:38 AM
Well, look at, say, Dungeons and Dragons and Tolkien. Early D&D obviously incorporated a lot of concepts right out of tolkien (elves, "halflings," etc.) They did that partly because they were building on Tolkien's work, partly because they wanted to appeal to people who had read Tolkien, so forth. But they probably didn't violate Tolkien's copyrights because you can't copyright the concept of elves or wizards and because they were transforming Tolkien's work into a new medium (a game, not a novel).

Actually the very first edition of D&D had hobbits and they were replaced by halflings due to legal action. Over time halflings have developed their own identity.

Cacheelma
05-18-2014, 12:39 AM
For card names part of the problem is that there are like 20 years of Magic cards so it's hard to throw a dart at the dictionary and NOT hit something that's been a M:TG card name. You can't copyright using "murder" to mean "kill a thing." Past that, some of these are things where natural game balance is going to gravitate. M:TG's rules exist for gameplay reasons -- more than four copies of a card or smaller than a sixty-card deck, for example, exist because those are the points that if you go past them, decks get silly or bad or broken and aren't fun to play. Past that, to the extent that this stuff isn't copyrightable . . .


Well, look at, say, Dungeons and Dragons and Tolkien. Early D&D obviously incorporated a lot of concepts right out of tolkien (elves, "halflings," etc.) They did that partly because they were building on Tolkien's work, partly because they wanted to appeal to people who had read Tolkien, so forth. But they probably didn't violate Tolkien's copyrights because you can't copyright the concept of elves or wizards and because they were transforming Tolkien's work into a new medium (a game, not a novel).

Similarly here. Hex is similar to MTG in a lot of ways and is going to appeal to people who've played MTG. But that doesn't mean it necessarily violates MTG's copyrights or patents, just like every other game ever written that contained the phrase "hit points" didn't violate AD&D's copyrights.

(one caveat: Taking the concept of "orc" might've been a little shadier. Tolkien did actually invent that, and it's a unique concept and form/depiction).

Again, my point is, they don't have to be so similar though. Other TCGs are not this similar to MtG. None of them are THIS similar. And that's, in my opinion, one of the reasons why Hex got sued and not other TCGs.

"-- more than four copies of a card or smaller than a sixty-card deck, for example, exist because those are the points that if you go past them, decks get silly or bad or broken and aren't fun to play"

Hearthstone's deck and copy limit are not the same as MtG yet the game is still playable. Same goes for other TCGs.

Saying that Hex chose to be similar to MtG to appeal to existing MtG players makes Hasbro's case even stronger imo.

Again, to recap my point: Hex as it stands now is needlessly similar to MtG in so many ways where other TCGs are not.

Kami
05-18-2014, 12:45 AM
*sighs*

It's 3:38am and I come back to see a lot of angry back and forth going on.

1. Keep it civil.
2. It is NOT okay to threaten someone with doxing - and I'm aware that the comment involved is borderline.
3. Everyone should review: http://www.cryptozoic.com/coc

Thanks.

Gwaer
05-18-2014, 12:45 AM
You're absolutely right, they don't have to be so similar, and we will soon find out whether the court says, they can't be so similar without being against the law. But just because they don't have to be so similar, doesn't mean that they can't be so similar, yet. That will be settled eventually. I'd argue that if it was absolutely clear, wizards would have said something months ago, rather than just contacting CZE for the first time about it in march.

I think it is quite a stretch to say it is needlessly similar, if the Hex creators feel that MTG got a lot of things right, it's perfectly within their rights to take as much of that foundation as they are legally allowed to take. Which is often more than a competitor feels you should be allowed to take, so we have lawsuits that define those parameters more and more finely, that's the point. I think Hex is on the right side of that line, for the myriad of reasons I have expressed. Ultimately it won't be up to any of us.

Hieronymous
05-18-2014, 12:51 AM
Saying that Hex chose to be similar to MtG to appeal to existing MtG players makes Hasbro's case even stronger imo.

Again, to recap my point: Hex as it stands now is needlessly similar to MtG in so many ways where other TCGs are not.

I don't think it necessarily makes Hasbro's case any stronger. It's ok to make a game that will appeal to fans of an earlier game. Duke Nukem 3D very deliberately appealed to fans of Doom, had a health meter with percentages, had similar weapons (pistol, shotgun), machine guns, medikits, boss enemies, and many other similarities, but it didn't violate Id Software's copyrights on Doom because it told a different story, had different artwork, added additional gameplay mechanics Doom didn't have, etc.


I'd argue that if it was absolutely clear, wizards would have said something months ago, rather than just contacting CZE for the first time about it in march.


Ascribing motivations like that to Hasbro seems like a guessing game. They might just be suing now because it's the best time to try to capture Hex's development time, or because they think Hex may be financially weak pre-release and thus have a harder time selling the game, or because they want to cripple sales at the game's release by putting people's collections under a legal cloud. A better argument is that if it were absolutely clear Hex's own lawyers would have warned them pre-kickstarter.

Cacheelma
05-18-2014, 12:56 AM
I don't think it necessarily makes Hasbro's case any stronger. It's ok to make a game that will appeal to fans of an earlier game. Duke Nukem 3D very deliberately appealed to fans of Doom, had a health meter with percentages, had similar weapons (pistol, shotgun), machine guns, medikits, boss enemies, and many other similarities, but it didn't violate Id Software's copyrights on Doom because it told a different story, had different artwork, added additional gameplay mechanics Doom didn't have, etc.

That depends on what was copyrighted by Id Software, no? There are other things in this case too not just copyrights.

Gwaer
05-18-2014, 12:59 AM
At the time, copyrights firmly didn't cover game mechanics. That's drifted a bit and now provisionally it can in some situations. It's possible ID got some FPS patents, I don't remember hearing about them, or any suit they were involved in, but I was pretty young in the doom days.

DeusPhasmatis
05-18-2014, 01:15 AM
My point is, this is one of the small details that Hex is similar to MtG when it doesn't have to be so. Why name AND have the cost of a card the same as MtG when you don't need to? Same goes for why have 5 factions? Why have a set of similar card types? Why the starting life is the same? Why the opening hand size is the same? Why the lower limit deck size is the same? Why the copy limit of a card in a deck is the same? Why the rarity levels of cards are the same?

All these are small details. Individually they are trivial. But when you look at the big picture, they're very needlessly similar.

"It doesn't have to be so" isn't a sufficient reason for it to be different. I don't want a car with square wheels just because the designer was being "innovative". Just like I don't want a card game with bad rules just to be different.

And once you have a few similarities, you start needing to have a lot of similarities, since even small differences can have large impacts on balance. If champions started at 25 health, for example, control decks would be much stronger; if champions started at 15 health, aggro decks would be much stronger. A change in the number of cards in the starting hand affects the balance of card costs, number cards in a deck, number of copies of a card in a deck, etc...

Cacheelma
05-18-2014, 01:23 AM
And once you have a few similarities, you start needing to have a lot of similarities, since even small differences can have large impacts on balance. If champions started at 25 health, for example, control decks would be much stronger; if champions started at 15 health, aggro decks would be much stronger. A change in the number of cards in the starting hand affects the balance of card costs, number cards in a deck, number of copies of a card in a deck, etc...

All of which WotC took years to research and balance and came up with, hence imo one of the reasons they're sueing us. We are going back to the "if it ain't broke..." arguement here. Other TCGs came up with different rulesets and playstyles. Why can't HEX do that?

Gwaer
05-18-2014, 01:46 AM
For whatever reason they felt this was the best implementation of their game, that's why. It's not that they couldn't have watered down the experience artificially from the game they wanted, it's that they felt that would make the game worse in their mind. Is it too similar? That is a question the courts will answer, but again. If MTG was absolutely certain they would have shut the KS down when it happened, it was huge news that whole month, and quite a few KS's have been halted in progress. It must have been dissimilar enough that their lawyers needed just under a year to decide it was actionable.

DeusPhasmatis
05-18-2014, 01:47 AM
All of which WotC took years to research and balance and came up with, hence imo one of the reasons they're sueing us. We are going back to the "if it ain't broke..." arguement here. Other TCGs came up with different rulesets and playstyles. Why can't HEX do that?

It's not that Hex can't, but that Hex shouldn't and probably doesn't need to. You're also making a pretty big assumption, specifically that Hex uses these mechanics because they copied from Magic. It's quite possible (highly likely, going by what I recall from the Kickstarter campaign and resulting media) that CZE iterated on a number of different mechanics and rules before settling on these ones.

Cacheelma
05-18-2014, 01:56 AM
It's not that Hex can't, but that Hex shouldn't and probably doesn't need to. You're also making a pretty big assumption, specifically that Hex uses these mechanics because they copied from Magic. It's quite possible (highly likely, going by what I recall from the Kickstarter campaign and resulting media) that CZE iterated on a number of different mechanics and rules before settling on these ones.

That could be true. But nobody knows other than the party involved. The outcome is what we are seeing, though. I have no legal knowledge but I've heard about that Ryan Seacrest iPhone-Keyboard debacle. In that case, they claimed they came up with the design on their own. It could be true 200% but it didn't matter. Blackberry still won that case in the end.

I'm not saying that this is the same as our case. My point is I don't think it matters how you reached the conclusion of how you want your game to be. The fact is it is similar to this other game. And they're sueing you. That's all we should care about.

Gwaer
05-18-2014, 02:00 AM
Currently, that actually depends on what circuit your case is in, there's kind of a disagreement in that exact thing between basically everywhere else in america and the ninth... Guess where we are, the ninth. Which is likely not good for CZE's case, if they were trying to make that same argument. I am not really expecting that tact, but we should see sometime next week how they're approaching it.

Keznath
05-18-2014, 02:15 AM
Personnaly, what is surprising me, is that we all knew that HEX was close of MTG game mechanics.

The problem, is that when i saw this, i was absolutely sure that CZE had resolved this problem with WoTC before creating HEX.

I thought that there was no chance anymore to see a trial for this.

I'm disapointed to notice that CZE have not anticipate this kind of things....

Cacheelma
05-18-2014, 02:22 AM
Personnaly, what is surprising me, is that we all knew that HEX was close of MTG game mechanics.

The problem, is that when i saw this, i was absolutely sure that CZE had resolved this problem with WoTC before creating HEX.

I thought that there was no chance anymore to see a trial for this.

I'm disapointed to notice that CZE have not anticipate this kind of things....

Don't even get me to start on that. To be honest. My thought process when I "Backed" this project was a little different from yours. But we are more or less in the same boat here (being surprised we're being sued, I mean).

DeusPhasmatis
05-18-2014, 02:29 AM
I'm disapointed to notice that CZE have not anticipate this kind of things....

I'd bet dollars to donuts that they did anticipate legal action from Wizards of the Coast.

Unhurtable
05-18-2014, 02:32 AM
And once you have a few similarities, you start needing to have a lot of similarities, since even small differences can have large impacts on balance. If champions started at 25 health, for example, control decks would be much stronger; if champions started at 15 health, aggro decks would be much stronger. A change in the number of cards in the starting hand affects the balance of card costs, number cards in a deck, number of copies of a card in a deck, etc... This is assuming they wouldn't change the aggro / control cards to be balanced in a 15 / 25 health scenario, maybe even introduce more cards to counter the overpowered playstyle. You can't just say "we can't make this change because they obviously X and Y will be OP/UP" when there are clearly options to prevent that.


I actually would be very interested in what people who play league of legends think about the game called Dawngate.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgBI2NDr4YQ I think it looks incredibly similar, and I just downloaded it to give it a shot. Saw it in totalbiscuits video breakdown of the wotc/hex thing.

It's almost as if that entire genre has evolved from a simple mod that spawned several mods that all mingled with ideas without fear of lawsuits to create what is now called the MOBA genre :)

Gwaer
05-18-2014, 02:32 AM
I honestly hoped they didn't. Perhaps they planned for WoTC to get a bit aggressive, but during the KS they said they had done their due diligence, consulted legal representation, and felt they were totally in the clear. Especially after nearly a year from the KS, I can't expect them to have been thinking.... Well it's almost 11 months after the KS launch lets get out legal stuff together.

Cernz
05-18-2014, 03:30 AM
Cory posted he had a hard week, which could be a sign that they underestimated this case... I hope i am wrong with this...

Erukk
05-18-2014, 03:36 AM
Cory posted he had a hard week, which could be a sign that they underestimated this case... I hope i am wrong with this...

I would imagine that getting sued would make any week a hard week, especially if someone is trying to take your baby (Hex) away.

Xenavire
05-18-2014, 03:57 AM
I love that people forgot a lot of details. Hex has gone through multiple iterations that even we know of, and I bet a lot more would be noted during discovery.

First: Hex had 25 starting health at one point. They lowered it for two reasons that I am aware of (balance, and time - because all games are timed, that 5 health would draw things out far too much.)

Second: a lot of cards have been through multiple designs, and balancing. Extinction was originally 5 cost. Persecute had a wildly different effect, which was changed, then the whole card was removed. Zombie plague was completely redesigned. Nelebrin Skirmisher was originally very different, and Jadiim and Eye of creation both went through nerfs. The fact that one or two parallels exist now means very little if they can show the design process for each card.

Last: we went through stack changes and all sorts of crazy crap during the alpha. I am fairly that wasn't the first time Hex went through some large mechanics changes, and again, discovery will show that.

MuffLord4
05-18-2014, 03:57 AM
Any1 wanting this case to go through (read forums on the internet, especially boardgamegeek) is a capitalist in my opinion.

A broad patent like this going through would end gaming, competition is bad for companies but companies are not humans, the customers are, we as customers need competitions so that companies give their best to improve their product instead of just eliminating them.

WoTC in my opinion doesn't protect it's rights, it's being a complete dick and showing it's true greedy colors.

Why don't the DOTA creators come after devs making stuff like dawngate? If you strip down stuff to the core gameplay then it's the same. I could even compare LoL to smite and form a lawsuit like that.

Why doesn't blizzard go after every WoW-Clone that shares the same UI and mechanics? (I know WoW is derived of everquest but I never played EQ as extensively)

Why doesn't Karl Benz sue every other automobile for using the most intelligent design? (Steering wheel+Wheels+Motor in front+2 seats in front etc)

If everyone would've been a dick about their inventions then we'd still live in the stoneages.

Sure my examples are not accurate but in my opinion there's not even an argument that WOTC are all what's wrong with humanity in terms of investing into the future and I won't even accept any other argument.

HeXBazou
05-18-2014, 03:57 AM
You can change the colors around. You can change the name of the colors around. One thing that they mentioned in the complaint that you can't deny though is the fact that there are "5" distinct "colors/factions/whatever" in both Hex and MTG.

5.

It doesn't help either that these 5 individuals are also very thematically similar in both games.

Let's face it: a TCG game doesn't need to have 5 colors/factions/whatever with similar themes to MTG. Hearthstone doesn't. Duel of Champions doesn't. WoW TCG doesn't. Pokemon doesn't. Yu-gi-oh! doesn't. SolForge doesn't.



for draft 5 + artefact is good, other game give more faction, it's good for the casu "give more", but very bad for balance and limited

Mushroom_C1oud
05-18-2014, 04:46 AM
If they are considering that the Hex kickstarter $2 million as damages because people could be confused that they didn't know the difference between a kickstarter project and mtgo that alone would be a hard sell.

zadies
05-18-2014, 04:53 AM
In the case of MOBA genre actually blizzard could sue everyone due to how the mod writing worked in that you didn't own the rights to your creation blizzard did when you wrote a mod for thier games.... and blizzard actually has the money to sue everyone.

Arbiter
05-18-2014, 05:10 AM
Last: we went through stack changes and all sorts of crazy crap during the alpha. I am fairly that wasn't the first time Hex went through some large mechanics changes, and again, discovery will show that.

I agree. IF they have the R&D trail to prove that MtG was their end state rather than their start state they are fine.

I think the stack changes are problematic for them (they started with MtG's, tried to change them during alpha, then went back to essentially a minor modification on the MtG model).

It is this thread (http://forums.cryptozoic.com/showthread.php?t=35558) and others like it that are the real problem.

Gamer points out that something isn't working the same way as it does in MtG (interpretation: it is a surprise and unusual for it to differ from MtG)
Gamer is informed this is indeed the way it works.
Gamer is helpfully informed that, in fact, this is the way it works in MtG due to recent rule changes.

I've been thinking on that thread since the suit was announced. I think it sums up the real problems that HEX faces here.

Cacheelma
05-18-2014, 05:34 AM
It is this thread (http://forums.cryptozoic.com/showthread.php?t=35558) and others like it that are the real problem.

Gamer points out that something isn't working the same way as it does in MtG (interpretation: it is a surprise and unusual for it to differ from MtG)
Gamer is informed this is indeed the way it works.
Gamer is helpfully informed that, in fact, this is the way it works in MtG due to recent rule changes.

I've been thinking on that thread since the suit was announced. I think it sums up the real problems that HEX faces here.

I am a king tier backer. But due to personal reasons I don't have much time to play, leave alone reading this forum. I had been impatiently waiting for PvE content until I heard about the legal action but.... guys...

We actually have had THAT kind of conversation here all along?! The conversation about how gameplay-related stuff were not working the way MtG does?!

Let me ask: Did they eventually changed these gameplay "issues" to be like MtG in the end?

If they did....


EDIT: Oh wait, I misread that. So actually the gameplay in question is identical to MtG but a guy who didn't know the new MtG rules were questioning whether this is correct. Still though... I'm not sure if this help our case... Are there any other convos like this?

Axle
05-18-2014, 05:37 AM
If they are considering that the Hex kickstarter $2 million as damages because people could be confused that they didn't know the difference between a kickstarter project and mtgo that alone would be a hard sell.

Wouldn't the best and easiest way to beat that just to email every kickstarter (and even better..anyone who ever spent platinum on HEX so all other "damages" get reduced) and ask in an on site survey what they would have done with their money otherwise? Ask for email/keep name to prevent repeat uses of the survey with bots or something. Check IPs too.

Jaunt
05-18-2014, 06:10 AM
Any1 wanting this case to go through (read forums on the internet, especially boardgamegeek) is a capitalist in my opinion.


Actually, a lot of capitalists would argue against such rigid copyright and patent laws for the exact reasons you mention. I think it's more a combination of norming and fanboyism. Lots of people love Magic, and they figure "if a daycare center can't paint cartoon mice on the side of their building, then using very similar game mechanics must be SUPER ILLEGAL. BURN THE HERETICS!"

MuffLord4
05-18-2014, 06:22 AM
In my opinion, if you are a customer and want this to go through then your IQ is below that of a stone. That's what I would say.

maniza
05-18-2014, 06:36 AM
People keep coming back to the FPS issue and it is totally not relevant. People are failing to understand the differences between the copyright claim, the patent claim, and the trade dress claim.

(1) A game where you are a first person shooter is an idea.
(2) Ideas are not copyrightable.
(3) Expressions of ideas are copyrightable.

I can make whatever kind of FPS I want, but I can't make Dogenstein 3D set in a nazi castle. WotC can't file winnable copyright or trade dress claims against anyone making a card game just because it has cards in it, because a card game is an idea. The copyright claim is about Hex's expression of WotC's idea of card game in MtG, and whether or not it is substantially similar to the point it infringes on their creation.

This is not some earth shattering, "gaming as we know it" changing lawsuit.

you fail to understand the gaming industry. watch the tb video. he explains it fairly well

Jaunt
05-18-2014, 06:39 AM
If Gatticus fails to understand the gaming industry, it's only because he does a good job understanding the court, who will neither know nor care about gaming industry custom.

Cacheelma
05-18-2014, 06:43 AM
In my opinion, if you are a customer and want this to go through then your IQ is below that of a stone. That's what I would say.

That depends on how selfish you are imo.

When I backed this game. I was too busy to look at the gameplay video. I backed Hex purely because the PvE content was promising enough. In other words, I've had no idea (until recently) that the gameplay of HEX would be like this (I'm not going to say what "like this" means but you know). Cryptozoic name is another factor that came into play when I decided.

As I said earlier, I don't have much time to play so I didn't know even after alpha AND closed beta how the whole gameplay is like. Sure, it felt familiar when I played few games I played. But I didn't think much about it. I waited for PvE.

How did I feel when I first knew about this? Disappointed. I didn't back this game for MtG clone. Can't they come up with something else? There are so many other TCGs and very few of them ever face this problems. I figured I have waited long enough. If this game survives this whole mess, I'd be happy that my investment didn't go down the drain (it may be still if they NEVER did deliver the PvE). But if it doesn't, well, lesson learned. I trust in the justice system. The greater good or w/e.

It's not like I'm going to get the money back anyway. So I guess I'll just.... wait and see. Or who knew, maybe my IQ is below that of a stone as you say.

MuffLord4
05-18-2014, 06:52 AM
That depends on how selfish you are imo.


Most intelligent people are selfish to a certain degree.

Also this is NOT a magic clone. Else I am entitled from this discussion on to call everything a WoW clone.

ursa23
05-18-2014, 06:55 AM
I can make whatever kind of FPS I want, but I can't make Dogenstein 3D set in a nazi castle.

Actually, pretty sure that Dogenstein 3D would be protected under parody protection. Very Nazis. So Hitler. Wow.

Cacheelma
05-18-2014, 06:58 AM
Also this is NOT a magic clone.

Yeah yeah even I wish it's totally up to you to decide that...

Axle
05-18-2014, 06:58 AM
Yeah..you can totally make Dogenstein 3D in a nazi castle if you want and not get in trouble as long as assets aren't copied and you add a super nazi boss battle. Welcome to the mobile store. As said in the TB video, a very close clone of another game was actually put on steam over the original.

Also
http://www.gamesradar.com/10-games-blatantly-ripped-zelda-series/
http://whatculture.com/gaming/5-video-games-that-shamelessly-ripped-off-zelda.php
Legend of Zelda Vs. These games

Hearts, top down view, treasure chests with light beaming saying "ITEM GET", cutting grass to get money, having items placed on each button shown at the top right of the screen, "3 hits they're dead" bosses, stealing from houses, save the princess, similar "light torches, move boxes" puzzles, fairy companion, similar enemies, similar special items, etc.

Sound like ridiculous claims I'm making? That's how ridiculous the claims MTG is making are too. "20 life, exhausting, 5 color types + artifacts, similar abilities, troops have subtypes, quick effects exist, continuous effects exist (sue ygo too..oh wait they did and failed), etc.

Though I'm sure you'll ignore it because "I'm a lawyer and you're not". The level of difference between the source material and HEX are the same difference as Legend of Zelda and these new high quality games (except iZelda =l). So HEX is not a clone, it is an evolution of the genre. From what I've been told HEX is in an unwinnable argument though because difference doesn't matter. I'll file that lawsuit against Checkers for the makers of Chess right now.

maniza
05-18-2014, 07:00 AM
If Gatticus fails to understand the gaming industry, it's only because he does a good job understanding the court, who will neither know nor care about gaming industry custom.

his legal insight seems to be fairly acurate. i am just pointing out that he keeps dismising a relevant comparison. i can only hope that this case does not makes it to a court room thou.

MuffLord4
05-18-2014, 07:02 AM
Yeah yeah even I wish it's totally up to you to decide that...

Tell me how it's a clone and then compare it to other things in the video game industry. According to the argument of WoTC then every MMO after Everquest is also a clone. The patent is too broad, according to that if you are following laws that nobody cares about then yes, everything is a clone of everything.

Cacheelma
05-18-2014, 07:06 AM
Tell me how it's a clone and then compare it to other things in the video game industry. According to the argument of WoTC then every MMO after Everquest is also a clone. The patent is too broad, according to that if you are following laws that nobody cares about then yes, everything is a clone of everything.

My point is it's not up to any of us here to decide. Again, we are more or less on the same side here. There's no point attacking each other.

bizznach
05-18-2014, 07:13 AM
Don't even get me to start on that. To be honest. My thought process when I "Backed" this project was a little different from yours. But we are more or less in the same boat here (being surprised we're being sued, I mean).

surprised?
hell i totally expected WOTC being the douches they are to find some way to go to court.
its not the first time and it wont be the last.
anywhoo...
i still dont get why this is a magic clone.
its like some catch phrase gamers blather on about.

Quasari
05-18-2014, 07:45 AM
I would imagine that getting sued would make any week a hard week, especially if someone is trying to take your baby (Hex) away.
Also all the people who have said it was lazy and that cze should burn for all their transgressions. Heck a freelance artist that did some work for them said he was glad they were getting sued. Overall of he reads anything off site, it's probably quite demoralizing considering how much he believes in Hex.

Hieronymous
05-18-2014, 08:06 AM
If Gatticus fails to understand the gaming industry, it's only because he does a good job understanding the court, who will neither know nor care about gaming industry custom.

Eh, I still think he's overestimating the strength of WotC's case. There's a big difference between a claim being non-frivolous and a claim being likely to succeed on the merits. WotC's claims aren't frivolous -- there are similarities, etc. But they aren't (or at least shouldn't) be likely to actually succeed in court.

I think people are just letting Wizards' argument dominate in their heads because they've seen WotC's complaint but haven't seen Hex's response.

Jaunt
05-18-2014, 08:41 AM
I'm not sure how strong he thinks Hasbro's case is, aside from "non-frivolous". I tend to agree with you though, if I were Hasbro I wouldn't like my odds of prevailing. I would, however, like my odds of bankrupting CZE. I would also like my odds of winning better than my odds of not bleeding cash if I didn't sue.

Kilo24
05-18-2014, 09:26 AM
Eh, I still think he's overestimating the strength of WotC's case. There's a big difference between a claim being non-frivolous and a claim being likely to succeed on the merits. WotC's claims aren't frivolous -- there are similarities, etc. But they aren't (or at least shouldn't) be likely to actually succeed in court.

I think people are just letting Wizards' argument dominate in their heads because they've seen WotC's complaint but haven't seen Hex's response.
The issue is that there's not much precedent for this kind of stuff in the digital gaming industry. Clones, absolutely. Copyright infringement, that has a few cases. Patent infringement? Trade dress infringement? There's really not that much. With patents, the big issue is that you not only do you need to apply for the patent, it's going to be really hard to find out how well that patent will hold up until after you spend a lot of money in court - not many companies do it because not many companies can gamble that money away. To my knowledge, MTG's patent has not yet made it to court; it's only intimidated other companies into licensing agreements. And trade dress? I haven't heard the term before because I'm not aware of anything in the games industry that has had with a lawsuit with it.

In other words, there are not many precedents here so neither side should feel secure in their position.

zadies
05-18-2014, 09:31 AM
Trade dress has to be non functional so it is really odd seeing it in this context regardless.

bootlace
05-18-2014, 09:51 AM
There's a lot of negativity going on here but let's consider all the good news:

-All creative expressions in Hex whether it be story, art, music, or code are all entirely original.

-Copyright does not protect the idea, rules, or methods of playing a game (there are dozens of backgammon/match-3 type of games on the market which exist with the EXACT same rules, steps, methods, win conditions etc).

-The trade dress issue, which seems to exist to prevent consumers from being tricked into buying the wrong product, is not an issue for a digital offering that requires very specific set of steps to purchase the product (go to Hex website, download Hex client, register for a Hex account, then go to the Hex store section, click on a pack clearly labeled Hex, and finally checkout using Hex's own system.)

-The cards and UI in its current state have enough differences that lets people distinguish the two and furthermore any similarities can be argued to be functional in purpose

-Magics patent applies to any game that lets you collect cards and build decks (so pretty much the whole genre) - and thus seems too broad to take seriously.

-The patent in question expires June 22nd 2014

-The patent could even be rendered invalid just based on the fact that many of the cards and ideas were floated around before the patent was applied for (and it was beyond the scope of R&D testing purposes)

-US law doesn't seem to consider Kickstarter backers as consumers (which is why you're not entitled to any refund if anything comes of the game).

-The game being born out of a massively successful Kickstarter campaign suggests that this is a game the market/consumers explicitly want and is not a cheap copy clone that attempts to make a quick buck off someone else's name. In fact no where in the KS campaign is the word Magic the Gathering mentioned. Any jury will be hard pressed to ignore this fact.

-The actual direct PVP battle part of the game which seems to be the entire focus of the suit is actually only a small portion of the TCGMMO that is Hex. The other elements in the game (some of which are already in the game, with many others in the works) are very much part of the overall game that is Hex (for example the combat mechanics of WoW are not even close to being the entirety of what the game is about). So you can't simply focus on 5% of a game and say 100% of the game is a copy (even when as previously discussed a large part of that 5% is not even close to being 100% the same as MTG). Sockets and champions by themselves are an incredible new innovation that Hex has come up with that adds much depth to the game.

-Hasbro's confidence seems to be coming from that Triple Town vs Yeti Town case (they use same tactics like citing bloggers and even ask for same amount in damages) but that case is entirely different and involves code sharing between the two parties before the game was even released.

-Card names being the same or similar when common verbs/nouns/expressions are concerned is not an issue. If it were then Magic could release a special set and have millions of permutations of every common phrase and bar anyone from making cards with names that resemble anything.

-A TCG having 5 colors, the amount of money MTG spent on R&D, special abilities of a card - none of this really matters and can't be used to prevent others from making similar versions.

Hasbro realizes that they lose out on every single point mentioned here analyzed individually so as the lawyer in quietspeculation argues, they've tried to jumble the points together to try to make a case that might fool some judge somewhere.

So since Hex is not in violation of any specific rule, the case boils down to a subjective questions of whether a game like this has merit to exist. The fact that it is birthed by a smashing success of a Kickstarter (aka real world consumers), seems to be a pretty strong argument in favor of the idea that this game brings enough to the table to exist.

The only possible stumbling block should be that ridiculous patent, if which it somehow stands, can destroy just about every TCG on the market today.

PS: IANAL

Sereaphim
05-18-2014, 10:06 AM
What is next that EA Games sues Subterranean Games because they make a close game to dungeon keeper ?
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/subterraneangames/war-for-the-overworld

Or that Obsidian Entertainment get sued by Bioware because they make a close game to baldur's gate ?
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/obsidian/project-eternity

Jaunt
05-18-2014, 10:10 AM
\
The only possible stumbling block should be that ridiculous patent, if which it somehow stands, can destroy just about every TCG on the market today.


For an entire month.

Aradon
05-18-2014, 10:22 AM
For an entire month.

I don't know patent law, but if it were upheld, wouldn't wizards be entitled to large compensation for damages for the duration that the game's been monetized already, though? Even if CZE were able to resume developing Hex in three months, that patent would be quite costly, right?

Jaunt
05-18-2014, 10:24 AM
My post was poorly aimed given the fact that bootlace specified "today". I was trying to convey that Hasbro can't destroy the CCG market for very long. Only long enough for anyone else to make any CCG that's any good.

Aradon
05-18-2014, 11:47 AM
Ah, I see. Well, at least there's that. Though, not much consolation to me if Hex were to fall through. I wonder if another publisher would try and push out Cory's design if Hex didn't make it past the lawsuit now, after seeing how profitable the kickstarter for it was.


Another passing thought is that I've never seen such enthusiasm for any other game clone. I would think, intuitively, that if Hex were just an MtG clone, it wouldn't have such support. It's obviously bringing more to the table, things that people want. Unfortunately, that rationale doesn't really help out the court case, just justify CZE's actions outside of the courtroom.

Mushroom_C1oud
05-18-2014, 12:09 PM
I don't know patent law, but if it were upheld, wouldn't wizards be entitled to large compensation for damages for the duration that the game's been monetized already, though? Even if CZE were able to resume developing Hex in three months, that patent would be quite costly, right?

Only the money earned after the closed beta started should be considered. Everything else was pledged, especially when it was on kickstarter.

Banquetto
05-18-2014, 02:01 PM
-The actual direct PVP battle part of the game which seems to be the entire focus of the suit is actually only a small portion of the TCGMMO that is Hex. The other elements in the game (some of which are already in the game, with many others in the works) are very much part of the overall game that is Hex (for example the combat mechanics of WoW are not even close to being the entirety of what the game is about). So you can't simply focus on 5% of a game and say 100% of the game is a copy (even when as previously discussed a large part of that 5% is not even close to being 100% the same as MTG). Sockets and champions by themselves are an incredible new innovation that Hex has come up with that adds much depth to the game.

But Hex isn't a TCGMMO. It's a direct PvP battle game which is currently taking money from customers - a limited number of customers, true, but customers all the same - with promises that at some point in the future, it will be expanded into a TCGMMO.

Sockets and champions, sure. Clearly new features. Enough to beat this case? I don't know.

But all the other stuff.. the double backs, the equipment, the PvE, the mercenaries, the keep attacks, the crafting.. all 100% irrelevant. It doesn't exist. It has no bearing on whether Hex is right now profiting from an actionable copy of Magic: The Gathering.

Gwaer
05-18-2014, 02:49 PM
None of us are qualified to determine what will or will not have bearing if this goes to trial. Even the ones of us that are lawyers, I have no idea what the case law that the parties involved in the case will cite for games in active development but before a public release. I've no idea that they will make a distinction from a product that is actively being worked on with a closed userbase, and one that is fully released. Caselaw in the gaming industry is very light. I think allowing a percentage of your early userbase to take part in the game creation portion of your game is an extremely new phenomenon from a legal perspective. Time will tell what is relevant.

DeusPhasmatis
05-18-2014, 02:51 PM
But all the other stuff.. the double backs, the equipment, the PvE, the mercenaries, the keep attacks, the crafting.. all 100% irrelevant. It doesn't exist. It has no bearing on whether Hex is right now profiting from an actionable copy of Magic: The Gathering.

By the time it actually gets to court, much of that will be implemented.

Shadowspawn
05-18-2014, 02:57 PM
By the time it actually gets to court, much of that will be implemented.

this is about what existed as of a certain date (the date of the legal actions).

DeusPhasmatis
05-18-2014, 03:02 PM
this is about what existed as of a certain date (the date of the legal actions).

Perhaps, perhaps not.

Werlix
05-18-2014, 03:13 PM
this is about what existed as of a certain date (the date of the legal actions).


RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED this 14th day of March, 2014.

Which is before monetised beta, so there goes that theory.

The law suit was about the Kickstarter which people pledged money towards a completed product which includes PvE etc. I assume they can also claim that ongoing monetised beta is causing them losses but in that case Kickstarter money can't be included so we're talking pretty low sums of money (a few weeks of plat purchases so far), not the $500,000+ referenced in the law suit.

Hieronymous
05-18-2014, 03:30 PM
Which is before monetised beta, so there goes that theory.

The law suit was about the Kickstarter which people pledged money towards a completed product which includes PvE etc. I assume they can also claim that ongoing monetised beta is causing them losses but in that case Kickstarter money can't be included so we're talking pretty low sums of money (a few weeks of plat purchases so far), not the $500,000+ referenced in the law suit.

That date was apparently a typo; this was just filed last week is my understanding despite that date. My guess is that's the date it was drafted and maybe sent to Crypto with a demand letter (the "negotiation").

Werlix
05-18-2014, 03:36 PM
That date was apparently a typo; this was just filed last week is my understanding despite that date. My guess is that's the date it was drafted and maybe sent to Crypto with a demand letter (the "negotiation").

Ok well even so, my main point was the $2m+ from Kickstarter were pledges towards a completed product including PvE. WotC can't argue that the current closed beta features represents the full results of that Kickstarter money. Not necessarily saying that they are trying to argue that, just referring to some forum users here who are saying that Hex can't argue based on upcoming features which I think is wrong based on the fact that the Kickstarter money is for funding those upcoming features.

Badgered
05-18-2014, 05:01 PM
None of us are qualified to determine what will or will not have bearing if this goes to trial. Even the ones of us that are lawyers, I have no idea what the case law that the parties involved in the case will cite for games in active development but before a public release. I've no idea that they will make a distinction from a product that is actively being worked on with a closed userbase, and one that is fully released. Caselaw in the gaming industry is very light. I think allowing a percentage of your early userbase to take part in the game creation portion of your game is an extremely new phenomenon from a legal perspective. Time will tell what is relevant.

This is absurd. The only ones who are qualified to determine anything about this case are lawyers (among us and elsewhere), not fans of the game(s) in question. Please don't make statements like that. It hurts me deeply.

Gwaer
05-18-2014, 05:13 PM
You misunderstand... I'm not saying fans are qualified, I'm saying no one on this forum is. For the reason that there isn't enough history in cases like this to even form a solid opinion. This is a somewhat unexplored area, so everyone will be guessing until the judge/jury/appellate court makes a final decision.

Vorpal
05-18-2014, 07:27 PM
That's the thing I love about the American judicial system. There is not a single person alive who can definitively say whether or not Hex is too much of a copy of MTG, or who will win the case.

Whatever the outcome, that kind of uncertainty is good for absolutely no one but lawyers.

regomar
05-18-2014, 08:20 PM
That's the thing I love about the American judicial system. There is not a single person alive who can definitively say whether or not Hex is too much of a copy of MTG, or who will win the case.

Whatever the outcome, that kind of uncertainty is good for absolutely no one but lawyers.

And here we have the crux of a much bigger problem than just this lawsuit.

Cernz
05-19-2014, 12:29 AM
lets go to #1000 posts before the statement gets live ;)

Ali3nSan
05-19-2014, 12:58 AM
lets go to #1000 posts before the statement gets live ;)

I expect it wont be till Wednesday at the earliest. I am sure lawyers are looking at a draft as we type, but it needs to be handled very carefully.

While I believe in Cory, and trust he did everything a reasonable person in his position would have prior to funding the game on Kickstarter, you can only plan for so much.

As many people have posted before, its up to the courts to decide. Unless an out of court settlement is reached, but then WoTC have a say in Hex, and I would rather see Hex have the Life Support Machines Switched Off at that point.

So does that mean I get $500 MtG cards then, lol. Ill need something to burn/destroy to get rid of my anger :D

Andreij
05-19-2014, 04:46 AM
I thought I would give my 2c as well: in May 2013 I had found out about Hex and the KS campaign. Up until then I had 0 contact with TCG, except the few cards I had from the Collector's editions of WoW TBC and Cata. I liked the art on those cards but I have never played or collected cards. Before I jumped into the KS bandwagon I have read the posts here and found out about MTG also. I am a PVE player all the way(I love lore and reading and so on), never cared much about the PvP parts of any game. After I have plegded for king tier I couldn't wait till we got Hex alpha (was hoping for a PvE as early as that :)) so I started looking into MTG and I saw the vastness of it. I saw the Duel Decks they had and I bought one to play with my daughter. We enjoyed it a lot, so I bought another Duel Deck and 2 Intro Decks (Gatecrash iirc). I also bought Duels of the Planeswalker on iPad which we enjoyed a lot. To keep a long story short, I have started to collect MTG cards and Duel Decks and I managed to have them all (including Elves vs. Goblins), which is to say that, up until now I have put some 2000 USD into MTG and 100 USD into Hex (but don;t tell my wife about it, kk?:)).
So, if it weren't for Hex, I would have never found out about MTG, not to mention paying as much as I did.
I think there has to be a healthy enviroment in which competion should exist so that games (products) should evolve improving themselves so that all (gamers, players and companies) can win and I am sure there is place on the market for all.
Wow, that was longer than intended :)

Cernz
05-19-2014, 05:49 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StTqXEQ2l-Y

IndigoShade
05-19-2014, 06:18 AM
As much as this whole situation sucks, I find the idea of a courtroom full of people watching the KS video of Cory robbing a bank, shooting a clown, dealing out of the office, and being a man whore pretty hilarious. I wonder if Hasbro's lawyers are going to try to use it to demonstrate the kind of man they're dealing with here. A man that would do anything!!! You better be ready for it Cory.

Cernz
05-19-2014, 06:35 AM
jfi: nobody has broken any law at the moment - dont judge before the judges...
in the us you can sue anybody for anything... lets wait and see.

Andreij
05-19-2014, 06:37 AM
You mean a man that puts fun and what he likes before money? A man who follows his dream? :P
I'd vote for that man (since the EU ellections are this week-end)...

Hibbert
05-19-2014, 07:01 AM
I think it's hilarious when any sort of "Internet" thing leaks into legal proceedings. I remember seeing one legal document with a stupid meme badly screenshotted(browser window and all) and labeled "Fig 1". The idea that a judge and possibly a jury had to look at that just makes me laugh.

mudkip
05-19-2014, 08:10 AM
I think it's hilarious when any sort of "Internet" thing leaks into legal proceedings. I remember seeing one legal document with a stupid meme badly screenshotted(browser window and all) and labeled "Fig 1". The idea that a judge and possibly a jury had to look at that just makes me laugh.

Articles keep mentioning the Triple Town suit with "Lolapps." I'm sure it would have been hard to keep a straight face every time someone said "Lolapps"

Glae
05-19-2014, 08:32 AM
It's not, you're wrong, sorry. There cannot be a copyright lawsuit over Halo and Call of Duty because they both have guns on the screen. An FPS is an idea; a TCG is an idea. Doom is an expression of an idea; Hex and Magic are expressions of an idea. This should not be that hard to understand, but you are apparently going to die on that hill.

You can keep telling me that I'm "not comprehending" the issues, but the fact of the matter is only one us could actually dispense legal advice without committing a felony and it's not you. You keep weaving back and forth between three different legal theories into one giant clusterfuck of a misunderstanding of the law and then telling the people who actually do this for a living that they don't know what they are talking about?

But doesn't WotC hold that it owns "TCG?"

Axle
05-19-2014, 08:37 AM
Of course they own TCGs! They are "the worlds best strategy game" after all, despite yugioh surpassing them in sales ages ago and also surpassing them in tournament event attendance.

Thrawn
05-19-2014, 08:40 AM
Wow, this thread is going to reach 100 pages of people just saying the same things over, and over, and over, and over. Kind of impressive really.

Ju66ernaut
05-19-2014, 08:50 AM
As much as this whole situation sucks, I find the idea of a courtroom full of people watching the KS video of Cory robbing a bank, shooting a clown, dealing out of the office, and being a man whore pretty hilarious. I wonder if Hasbro's lawyers are going to try to use it to demonstrate the kind of man they're dealing with here. A man that would do anything!!! You better be ready for it Cory.

I just went back to rewatch Cory's Kickstarter video and have to say, If I were sitting on a jury and saw this video, I would think Hasbro was really reaching in their claims of HEX infringing on trade dress, copyright, and patent. The game looks and functions so much differently than Magic. Sockets, level maps, guilds, champions that level up. I see a lot of innovation and little copying beyond the use of cards and generic fantasy races.

When Cory explains the components of an MMOTCG is, it became very clear that that this is far beyond what Hasbro/Magic offers.

Vorpal
05-19-2014, 09:10 AM
Whenever someone says "It's up to the courts" it sounds an awful lot to me like "It's up to the King"

Who can know the whims of a king? Likewise, none of us have any idea what the courts will decide.

Courts are supposed to uphold the law. If citizens cannot tell if they are breaking the law or not...where does that leave us?

majin
05-19-2014, 09:18 AM
too bad we can't see a video of cory in the stands depending the game. i know it will sound like how he always did on interviews explaining the game mechanics to viewers but still seeing him on the stand and telling those features would be EPIC!!!

then the judge will rule to have another Hex kickstarter so more people can join in and get KS perks ^___^

Daparish81
05-19-2014, 09:19 AM
Whenever someone says "It's up to the courts" it sounds an awful lot to me like "It's up to the King"

Who can know the whims of a king? Likewise, none of us have any idea what the courts will decide.

Courts are supposed to uphold the law. If citizens cannot tell if they are breaking the law or not...where does that leave us?

You know we have juries, right?

Vorpal
05-19-2014, 09:29 AM
You know we have juries, right?

I thought in this particular case they asked not to go before a jury?

In any case, that doesn't address the unpredictability argument at all.

MatWith1T
05-19-2014, 09:33 AM
Whenever someone says "It's up to the courts" it sounds an awful lot to me like "It's up to the King"

Who can know the whims of a king? Likewise, none of us have any idea what the courts will decide.

Courts are supposed to uphold the law. If citizens cannot tell if they are breaking the law or not...where does that leave us?

Kings get to act on a whim. Courts get to act based on legal precedent.
Citizens can't tell if they're breaking the law because there is not a whole lot of legal precedent on this matter.

But in reality, it's up to the jury... which is even scarier. Have you ever been on a jury? I served on a criminal jury and I am fairly certain that if I am ever charged with a crime, I am taking a plea bargain whether I did the crime or not. It completely cured me of any naive notions about informed persons reaching a consensus of what is right and just.

Jaunt
05-19-2014, 09:39 AM
A jury is composed of 12 people all too dim to get out of jury duty.

My go-to is a heavy bias against police. It's not even false.

Glae
05-19-2014, 09:42 AM
Of course they own TCGs! They are "the worlds best strategy game" after all, despite yugioh surpassing them in sales ages ago and also surpassing them in tournament event attendance.

I wasn't trying to be flippant. WotC is claiming that they own the genre, aren't they?

Glae
05-19-2014, 09:44 AM
I thought in this particular case they asked not to go before a jury?

In any case, that doesn't address the unpredictability argument at all.
They asked to go go jury specifically. Its unlikely a judge will just throw the case out before it goes to trial.

Keznath
05-19-2014, 09:51 AM
We know we have juries...just hope that our trust in juries will not lead us all to injuries ^^









ps : not easy for a french man to make a play on words in english ;-)